Monday, June 9, 2008

Negotiation Jujitsu

Don’t we all wish we could be better negotiators? I just finished reading an amazing book on Negotiation called ‘Getting To Yes’ by Roger Fisher and William Ury. It’s the kind of book you want to read more than once as there is just so much good stuff in there. Some of my favorite content dealt with ‘tricky tactics’ used by some of the best negotiators. Being good at spotting these tactics during a negotiation can make or break it. An example is the use of deliberate deception. This is usually when someone is offering phony facts, giving less than full disclosure on things, or is just not being clear on who has authority to make decisions. I had someone try and use this on me recently. This investor and I have been going back and forth on two separate deals. One deal is in his best interest to get closed and the other deal is in my best interest to get closed. Every time that he and I would get together to negotiate on the terms, this guy would employ the tactic of deliberate deception. He would always give less than full disclosure on the details. When I finally cornered him at the end of the negotiations, he would always say he had to consult his attorney before making any decision. Almost as if he couldn’t give me an answer because his attorney had utmost authority or something!!?? After reading this book I feel more confident about being able to identify these kinds of tactics and either counter them or call out the person out who is trying them on me. Does anyone have any negotiation stories they’d like to share on this subject? Any tricky tactics that have been used on you?

By Corey Curwick


  1. Negotiating well is difficult and intimidating. It's no wonder to me that so many people prefer to use an agent when buying or selling- often it's easier to "negotiate" by using a third party to present information.

    I have found that I am at my "negotiation peak" as long as I am in control of my emotions. For me control requires preparation- knowing what my stop-point is, thinking ahead of possible caveats and trusting that for every seemingly "negative" there is an equal and opposite positive. There is such a thing as a win-win!

  2. One of the best ways that I've found that works in negotiating, is to know what your "minimum" requirement is, and then DON'T CHANGE IT.

    If you know what you "have to have" for something, or "the most you are willing to pay" then negotiating is easy.

    Because, it can be fast... like jumping straight to the point of asking the other person.. "what is it that is most essential to you..." Then, one strategy that works, is being honest, upfront, and putting out some of your cards... "Well this is what's most important to me..."

    Then let the negotiations begin.. If you can live with his "essentials" and he can live with your "most importants" then it will be a win-win proposition from the get go.



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