Author offers readers another insightful examination of dealmaker's business style Book Trump Style Negotiation Author George H. Ross Publisher John Wiley & Sons A yearning to listen to the words of the rich and famous is nothing new, with penmen from Samuel Johnson onwards transcribing the comments of their wisest, wittiest peers. This is no bad thing; thanks to accounts recorded over the centuries, we know how some of our greatest statesmen, thinkers and doers have behaved and thought, and what has motivated their actions. However, the 21st century obsession with celebrity - that includes not only the great, the powerful and the good, but also the tawdry, tacky and repellent - means that anyone who aspires to be anyone has a sure-fire market if they decide to publish a book, however banal, silly or dull. In addition to the umpteen glossy magazines and tabloids littering the newsstands, would-be readers are confronted with rows of shiny, hardback biographies, autobiographies and confessions by well-known faces. Inviting a celebrity to share his or her sob-story, spiritual leanings or dazzling insights into the world or simply to offer a blow-by-blow account of their life has to be one of the publishing world's best money-spinners. It's difficult not to feel a little cynical when a man just as famous for his bouffant hairdo and his 24-carat, glamorous wives, not to mention the dramatic shows that make for fabulous television, or the outrageously opulent houses, fires out a big, fat, red, black and gold self-help book with his smiling face on the front. Yes, a second tome devoted to the business nous of none other than Donald J. Trump is out, serving as a companion publication to the bestselling Trump Strategies for Real Estate. Do readers really need a full 268 pages devoted to the negotiation skills of Mr Trump - or rather, those divulged by George H. Ross, his 30-years-long sidekick and who also happened to co-star on the hit US television show, The Apprentice? Isn't this just a cynical way to capitalise on Mr Trump's fame ... or does the reading world really need to know how he negotiates and what makes him tick? Certainly, if by buying the book we subconsciously hope that some of Mr Trump's wealth rubs off on our lives, it would probably be easier to pop out and grab a fresh magazine. It is hard to imagine that, having read this book, many of us will find ourselves magically endowed with Trump-like skills of negotiation. After all, in order to do as well ourselves, it is not enough to understand why he has succeeded, what lies behind his successful business or how he plies himself to negotiation. However good we might be at following his advice, we also need more than a dollop of his personality, intellect and life experiences to obtain similar results. Finally, we would need photographic memories and extraordinary powers of recall to duplicate the conversations and encounters re-enacted in this detailed account of this business superstar's wheeling and dealing. In addition, as Mr Trump himself notes, 'There are no hard-and-fast rules in negotiation and the entire subject consists of utilising various mental exercises and communication tactics, [so] getting people to think intelligently about the stressful arena of negotiation is a formidable task.' So simply regurgitating his pearls of wisdom isn't going to get us very far, either. Mr Ross, as the executive vice-president and senior counsel for the Trump Organisation, is the ideal person to shed light on just how 'The Donald' operates. If we want the inside scoop on how enormous real estate bids were negotiated, from possibly the most famous name in the field, indeed straight from the horse's mouth, this is the best and most brilliant book for the job. Especially, when in the course of the book, we might well have the chance to retain some crumbs of information from the great man's table. From start to finish, Trump-style Negotiation is packed with all the nitty-gritty ... on everything from using psychological negotiation tactics to wheedling out the other side's weaknesses and making the very most of this knowledge. Mr Ross offers his readers a detailed and insightful examination of Mr Trump's business style - exemplified by big-thinking negotiation tactics that allow his sidekick to fill in the small print, dot the i's and cross the t's. He is not an ordinary ghost writer; this author understands perhaps better than anyone the material he is dealing with and the person he is representing. He teaches negotiation at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and over the past three decades he has helped negotiate many of Donald Trump's biggest deals, including Trump Tower, the GM Building, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building. In a nutshell Who should read this? Hard-nosed businessmen, students of human behaviour or people burning the midnight oil at business school. If you are fascinated by how one of the world's biggest business names has operated over the years, how his most trusted adviser operates for him - and how they have fenced and parried with people across the negotiating table, this book is a must. Why should they read this? This has to be a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to find out how Mr Trump has become a master salesman, why he thinks we should harness the power of human nature and how information can become power, even if the author is a bit too adulatory at times. Whether we will all be mini-Trumps by the final pages is another matter. Five insights 1 'Are there any rules in negotiation?' writes George H. Ross, the author of Trump Style Negotiation - Powerful Strategies and Tactics for Mastering Every Deal. 'The right answer is, 'No, there are no rules in negotiation',' he says, adding, 'Are lying, cheating, and deception permitted? The right answer is, 'Yes, anything goes'.' 2 This doesn't mean that you should behave unethically or illegally. 'If Donald Trump makes a business deal, he keeps his word, and so will I,' Mr Ross notes. '[There is a] need to build trust with the other side. However, a negotiation is not the same thing as a completed business transaction. Until the contract is signed, my experience is that everyone involved in the negotiation is free to act as he or she sees fit without restrictions.' 3 Probe to learn what the other side wants, flush out weaknesses, and uncover important information. 'When I negotiate, I start out trying to discover what motivates the person across the table,' says the author. 'He or she might be an optimist who feels certain that there will be a successful outcome, or a pessimist who is convinced that I will pull a fast one on them and they'll end up with a lousy deal. If so, I have to win the pessimist over and get to him or her better before I have the right to expect our negotiation to end well.' 4 Control the pace of the negotiation - use timing, deadlines, delays and deadlocks to your advantage. In fact, the author advises, getting pulled into a quick deal is always a mistake. 'It might be a good deal, but the speed and the pace of the negotiation should be your decision, based on your agenda and negotiating strategy and not the other side's. Trump understands this principle better than anyone.' 5 Keep multiple solutions in mind - remain flexible and creative about what you need and want. 'You always have negotiating power if you can force yourself to walk away from a deal, either temporarily or permanently,' writes Mr Ross. This is not to say that walking away permanently is a good idea unless the transaction is already pretty hopeless. However, a disagreement or deadlock can provide an opportunity to craft a different deal - perhaps one that is even better for both sides.