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Thursday, January 03, 2013


How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett by Tom Searcy & Henry DeVries - Book review

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett

Lessons from the World's Greatest Dealmaker

By: Tom Searcy, Henry DeVries

Published: October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 0071801650
ISBN-13: 978-0071801652
Publisher: McGraw Hill

"No matter what size company you have, you can land your Warren Buffett kind of deal", write consultant and founder of Big Hunt Sales, Tom Searcy; and Assistant Dean of Continuing Education at the University of California, San Diego, Henry DeVries, in their strategy filled and very practical book How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett: Lessons from the World's Greatest Dealmaker. The authors describe the highly successful deal making concepts, techniques, and wisdom employed by legendary investor and negotiator Warren Buffett.

Tom Searcy (photo left) and Henry DeVries recognize that most business people won't negotiate transactions on the scale conducted by Warren Buffett, but offer the insight that the same principles apply to all deal making events. The authors provide the timeless and readily applicable strategies, as utilized by Warren Buffett, in a an understandable format The authors point out how the methods used by Warren Buffet differ from traditional and even conventional negotiation strategies.

The authors emphasize the real and very tangible differences between Warren Buffett negotiated transactions, and those of hostile takeovers, and of standard mergers or turnarounds. For Warren Buffett, the numbers are very important, but the people involved in the deal are even more important. This Warren Buffett idea of working with the people creates an entirely different dynamic from traditional negotiation and deal making.

Henry DeVries (photo left) and Tom Searcy understand that every negotiation will follow a path of its own, but that there are important similarities as well. The authors demonstrate how Warren Buffett established a set of negotiation rules and principles that transform the entire process from one of chance to one of predictable and mutually beneficial outcome.

The authors share 101 of Warren Buffett's maxims and wisdom for successful negotiation. The principles are shared with the reader in eighteen lessons to establish both thinking and acting like Warren Buffett in any negotiation, regardless of size. The eighteen lessons are as follows:

* The quest to make deals like Warren Buffet
* Go big
* Consider many, like some, love few
* Bad deals at good prices are still bad deals
* Deal only with dealmakers
* Clear the deal path
* Getting to dealmakers
* When you are going to eat an elephant, don't nibble
* A little help goes a long way
* Victory favors the ready
* The why matters
* Expect the unexpected
* Don't fight, but when you do...
* If you want to marry, don't tarry
* The final hour
* The last step is always slippery
* After you make your first Warren Buffett deal

For me, the power of the book is how Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries combine a comprehensive framework of Warren Buffett's negotiation strategies, with a complete course in putting those principles into practice. Throughout the book as well, the authors include special vignettes of Warren Buffett's investment advice and wisdom. The authors also include a number of their own negotiations and deal making case studies to illustrate the principles in action in the real world.

Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries enhance the main text of the book with a very complete and useful appendix. The appendixes include what the authors call 101 Warren Ways, that encapsulate Warren Bufffett's deal making rules; Chronology of Warren Buffett's highlights, which provides a historical overview or his major transactions; the making of a dealmaker, where a brief biography of Warren Buffet is provided: and a section on further reading on the life, strategies, and ideas of Warren Buffett as recounted by other authors.

I highly recommend the engaging and results oriented book How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett: Lessons from the World's Greatest Dealmaker by Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries, to any business leaders, executives, sales managers and representatives, and entrepreneurs seeking to improve their own negotiation strategies and skills through a deeper understanding of the principles and wisdom employed by Warren Buffett. This book will transform any business person from an ordinary negotiator to one who understands the fundamental principles of making a deal.


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