Tonight, I finished You Can Negotiate Anything. I recommend reading the book for its countless minor lessons, but the two major lessons for me were:
(1) Everything that is produced by negotiation is subject to negotiation. Just because the store puts a sign up doesn’t mean you (or they) have to abide by it. The person with whom you’re dealing decides whether to do what you want—not the sign. So don’t be afraid to ask.
(2) Find the real problem. A lot of times when we’re negotiating, we think it’s just a matter of whose number wins, but it’s really a lot more complicated than that. Different people have different needs, and meeting both parties’ needs doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.
At 255 pages, it’s not a terribly long book, and it reads pretty quickly. Cohen writes with wit and the lessons you learn make the time invested worth it.