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)

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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

Point of the Deal (The) Attributes

Author: Danny Ertel and Mark Gordon
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (2007)