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Financial Quotes

Negotiation Quotes

  • "Know what you want—and remember that whatever your bottom line is, there’s always another line below that."
    Source: Quoted in Charles Crawford’s blog (May 12, 2012)
  • "Be careful, be cautious, do not rush into negotiations … be careful what you give away now, you may wish you had not done so should in future the balance of forces turn in your favour."
    Oliver Tambo (19171993), South African political leader
    Advice on negotiating with the apartheid-supporting South African government.
    Source: Quoted in Mandela: The Authorised Biography (Anthony Sampson, 2000)
  • "Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person."
    Harvey Robbins, US writer on business psychology
    Source: TransCompetition (cowritten with Michael Finley, 1998)
  • "The trouble about bargaining … is that when one loses in a particular competitive negotiation, one's chances of winning the next negotiation are frequently diminished."
    Theodore Zeldin (1933–), British academic, author, and historian
    Source: An Intimate History of Humanity (1994)
  • "When money is at stake, never be the first to mention sums."
    Ahmed Zaki Yamani (1930–), Saudi Arabian politician
    Source: Quoted in Yamani (Jeffrey Robinson, 1988)
  • "The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no. The second most dangerous word is yes. It is possible to avoid saying either."
    Lois Wyse (19262007), US advertising executive and writer
    Source: Company Manners (1987)
  • "It's a well-known proposition that you know who's going to win a negotiation: it's he who pauses the longest."
    Robert Holmes à Court (19371990), Australian entrepreneur
    Source: Sydney Morning Herald (May 24, 1986)
  • "A negotiator should observe everything. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud."
    Victor Kiam (19262001), US CEO of Remington Corporation
    Source: Going For It (1986)
  • "Make a suggestion or assumption and let them tell you you're wrong. People also have a need to feel smarter than you are."
    Mark McCormack (19302003), US entrepreneur, founder and CEO of International Management Group
    Source: What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)
  • "Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction."
    Mark McCormack (19302003), US entrepreneur, founder and CEO of International Management Group
    Source: What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)
  • "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
    John F. Kennedy (19171963), US president
    Source: Presidential inaugural speech (January 20, 1961)
  • "Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save his face … Avoid self-righteousness like the devil—there is nothing so self-blinding."
    Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (18951970), British military historian and strategist
    Source: Deterrent or Defence (1960)
  • "He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing."
    Oscar Wilde (18541900), Irish writer and wit
    Source: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), ch. 2
  • "Necessity never made a good bargain."
    Benjamin Franklin (17061790), US politician, inventor, and journalist
    The Poor Richard’s Almanack series (1732–58) were originally published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
    Source: Poor Richard’s Almanack (1735)
  • "Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way."
    Sir David Frost (1939–), British broadcaster
    Source: Attributed

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