10 Powerful Business & Negotiation Lessons from Ari Gold


Young entrepreneurs often have the hardest time negotiating because of lack of confidence.

We often find ourselves believing that we’re not as smart as someone with years of experience in negotiating and that everything they say is gold. Some individuals will use this to their advantage and leave you scratching your head.

Our entire lives we negotiate with the people we love; from bedtime to a night out with friends. However when it comes to doing business negotiations some of us don’t know where to start. The adrenaline starts rushing and eventually we break down, taking an offer we soon regret. Don’t let this happen to you.

Take these tips and make the deal of your life.

Ari Gold Tip 1: Never Back Track Yourself

Sometimes you will be in a situation where you cannot really read the opposing negotiator. You will question your own offer, your own ideas and even begin to question yourself. You don’t know what they’re thinking; so don’t guess. Let them tell you what they’re thinking before you tell them what you think they want to hear. If you give an offer and they freeze; don’t interrupt their thought with “but we’re willing to discuss what you think is fair.” That’s a sign of weakness and possibly a missed opportunity. What if they thought it was fair? You just screwed up.

Ari Gold Tip 2: Always have a Number Three

People always tell you to have a back up plan but what if your back up plan doesn’t work? Just run away with your tail between your legs? No. Of course not. You need to have a number three. A final plan or the bare minimum of what you’re willing to take. If you go into a negotiation without knowing where you stand on anything you’re going to leave unhappy. Make sure that your number 3 is something that you can live with and still be proud of.

Ari Gold Tip 3: Listen attentively and let them know it

Social media has made a lot of us narcissistic brats. We’ve begun worrying more about ourselves than others which results in us doing a whole lot of talking and not a lot of listening. During a negotiation it is CRUCIAL to listen attentively and let them know you’re there. If your phone rings (should be on vibrate anyways) in a smug manner shut it off and let them know that you’re there for them. Once they see that you’re 100% there – They will know that you are 100% business.

Ari Gold Tip 4: Watch for Cracks and loose Widgets

If you’re able to listen attentively you will find that you can easily find some cracks and loose widgets in their dialogue. Basically, these are the things that you can take advantage of to get what you want in the negotiation. Or at least get a better idea of what they’re looking to get out of this all. No one likes to put all their cards on the table at the beginning of a negotiation but its hard for someone to keep their motives hidden during an important and engaging conversation.

Ari Gold Tip 5: Leave the Arguments for the Playground

This can be your biggest mistake in a negotiation. You’re going to probably be doing business with this person for quite some time so an argument isn’t a good bet. Rather than arguing back and forth , simply state your case in a calm and civil manner while focusing on the benefits of your offer. Always focus on the positive rather than the negative. No one likes a negative nancy and a negative nancy can only make someone second guess their reason for doing business with them.

Ari Gold Tip 6: This Isn’t Poker, Don’t Bluff

This is real life. You’re dealing with real people and if you bluff and they call it – you’re screwed. There is no going back on a bluff in a negotiation unless you want to look like Gordon Gekko. Make sure you’ve got your details lined up and be honest with yourself and the second party. The key to success in business is relationships so don’t make the mistake of ruining your business relationships with a bluff.

Ari Gold Tip 6: Give’em an offer they won’t refuse

In the words of Don Corleone, the infamous Godfather — “make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.” If your back is against the wall and this is something you really want to be a part of – Give’em something that will make their mouth drop. And I’m not talking about putting a horses head in their bed so they get the message. I’m talking about showing them all you’ve got to offer. When you do this, focus on the benefit. They don’t want a fence, they want a sense of security and privacy. Talk about the benefit and throw in a story while your at it.

Ari Gold Tip 7: Be Confident in your Offer and Yourself

If you’ve watched the TV show the Entourage you know that Ari Gold is one of the most confident S.O.Bs on the air. He walks the walk and constantly talks the talk. If you want respect, the first thing you need to do is have confidence in your own abilities. Now there is a thin line between being confident and being cocky; you want confident. Confident doesn’t brag about the great things they’ve already done. They talk about the great things they feel they bring to the table and how TOGETHER they can do something remarkable.

Ari Gold Tip 8: Be upfront and be blunt

If you don’t like the way a negotiation is going; let them know. If you feel as if you’re being robbed – Let them know. There is no reason being in a negotiation where the other person doesn’t respect you. If they don’t respect you you will have a hard time doing business with them and they will feel as if they can constantly take advantage of you.

Ari Gold Tip 9: Read the Art of War

If you haven’t read this book, I strongly suggest you do so. The Art of War is a Chinese book written about military strategy by Sun Tzu in the 6th century BC. This book is regarded by many as one of the greatest strategy books of all time.

I leave you with a quote from this book which can be applied to life and business,

To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. – Sun Tzu

Wrapping Things Up

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you’re interested in more interesting insights like this be sure to check out the Hustle & Grind blog and subscribe to my newsletter today!