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March 30, 2013 / glennlim thots

Art of Business Negotiation

This is an excellent study of the art of negotiation…

Watch this video of how Jonathan Miller nailed his business proposal to the Sharks in this 2 part video…


The below is an excerpt of that study written by Jon Yong Fook. I own no rights to the below property…

There’s a few tactics here that Jonathan Miller used masterfully in negotiating with his potential investors…

Horse & Jockey

Jonathan reinforces a few times that they are buying into him and the vision. The investors were valuing the company based on current earnings, which is never favourable to an early stage company. Jonathan uses the great line I’m selling you the horse & the jockey – reminding the investors that they aren’t just buying into a company but also himself as an entrepreneur.


Jonathan remains calm and composed, even in the face of a small defeat. After learning that one Shark is declining to participate in the round, he counters immediately with “I would like to answer your objections, even if you are out” – it’s polite, respectful and gives him a platform to respond to any doubt that the other Sharks might now have. He gets to state his case without sounding desperate, which would erode his leverage.

I can’t negotiate with myself

Perhaps my favourite tactic from the whole clip. When the Sharks pushed Jonathan to come up with a different offer (since they didn’t like the first one) he threw the ball right back in their court. He’s right. Let the investor counter-offer. Don’t counter-offer your own offer.

Is that an offer?

After a Shark talks numbers but wasn’t forthcoming about whether he’s serious or not, Jonathan cuts right to the chase. He knows that the quicker he can get a concrete offer on the table, the quicker he can start a bidding war between the Sharks.

My negotiating range

Polite negotiation speak for “your numbers are nowhere near what I want”. Jonathan’s savvy seems to be paying off.



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