Point of the Deal (The) How to Negotiate When Yes Is Not Enough

A practical explanation of how to transition from a deal-maker mentality (focusing on making the agreement) to an implementation mindset (ensuring the deal generates value for your company after the ink on the contract has dried)


Why do so many business deals that look good on paper end up in tatters? Deal makers often treat the handshake or signed contract – getting to “yes” – as the final destination in their bargaining journey rather than the start of a cooperative venture.

In The Point of the Deal, Danny Ertel and Mark Gordon explain how to transitino from a deal-maker mentality (focusing on making the agreement) to an implementation mindset (ensuring the deal generates value for your company after the ink on the contract has dried). The authors show you how to:

  • Treat the deal as a means, not an end, by asking what you need from your counterpart over and above a “yes”;
  • Consulting stakeholders, determining whom you’ll need to get to “yes” and beyond;
  • Set precedents that will help guide joint behavior after you’ve signed the deal;
  • Air your concerns – in ways that still get you to “yes” and beyond;
  • Help your counterparts avoid overcommitting – maximizing the likelihood they’ll be ablet o deliver on their part of the bargain;
  • Run past the finish line – by articulating how you’ll get from “yes” to your final destination.


With a wealth of examples from multiple industries, countries, and functions, the authors illustrate how thier approach to instilling an implementation mindset works in all kinds of familiar contexts for business deals – including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, alliances, outsourcing arrangements, and customer and supplier relationships. The Point of the Deal not only offers crucial advice for individual negotiators and teams; it also enables managers to treat negotiation as a critical business process that drives real value for their organizations.



Danny Ertel is a founding partner of Vantage Partners and head of its outsourcing practice; an award-winning author and leading authority on negotiation and relationship management; and chairman of Janeeva, Inc.

Mark Gordon is a founding partner of Vantage Partners; a Senior Adviser to the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School; cofounder of Confluct Management Group, which focuses on disputes of international public concern; and a director of Mercy Corps.


“Ertel and Gordon are right: it’s not only the deal that matters, but what happens afterward. The Point of the Deal provides practical advice on how to negotiation when implementation matters.” – Douglas L. Braunstein, Head of Americas Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

“In this important and refreshing book, Ertel and Gordon remnid us all: in every negotiation, know your purpose and don’t forget it.” – Roger Fisher, coauthor of Getting to YES

“Ertel and Gordon are real-world practitioners, passing on invaluable insight gained from around the negotiation table. They show how to achieve real success in your negotiation and, more importantly, how to build long-term, sustainable relationships in which the deal is only the first of many steps.” – Darren Childs, Managing Director, Global Channels, BBC Worldwide

“If implementation of the deals you negotiate is important – and it almost always is – this book is for you. It overflows with practical advice on how to really get what you want.” – John S. Hammond, Coauthor of Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

Close window

Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.