Don’t Cut to the Chase

Don't Cut to the Chase — Prepare for Your Negotiations A small business owner with a huge potential opportunity in a negotiation with a large company contacted me recently and asked how to respond to the company’s request that he make them an offer. He...

Know When to Stop Pushing and Sign The Deal

“When should we just stop asking for more and sign the deal?” I usually answer by noting that, at the end of the day, you must evaluate whether the value on the table is better or worse than your best alternative — your Plan B. If it’s better than Plan B, sign the...

What Is Leverage? 10 Rules for Using it Well

What Is Leverage? 10 Rules for Using it Well What is Leverage? What most consider to be negotiation power — leverage — actually relates to two factors: how much each party needs that deal relative to the other, and the relative value of each party’s best alternative...

Price Not Always The Best Way to Lead Off Negotiations

“Why waste time dealing with those other issues if we can’t even agree on price? Let’s just start with price and, if we can reach agreement on it, then we can address the rest.” This not-uncommon approach appears to make intuitive sense. After all, no one disputes the...

Know the Value of Your Product to Your Customer

Thomas Edison added up the time and killing pace he had put into inventing the “Universal” stock ticker, a device later used by brokerage houses, and decided he was entitled to $5,000 for it. Ultimately, he figured he’d accept $3,000. So when General Lefferts, the...

An Ego Can Cost You in Negotiations

I once sold an ordinary $20 bill to a lawyer in New York City for $83. How? By getting his ego involved. Here’s what happened: I announced in a seminar for about 100 New York lawyers that “I’m going to auction this $20 bill off to the highest bidder. “You are free to...

Lessons from the Father of Alternative Dispute Resolution

My Harvard Law School professor and mentor Frank Sander recently passed away after a long and brilliant career in the dispute resolution field. A co-founder of the Harvard Program on Negotiation in 1979, many of us learned an enormous amount from Sander the scholar...

3 Actions Sales Staff Can Take to Achieve Better Deals

“What is it about the sales environment that seems to put us at a disadvantage in our negotiations? Our sales folks almost always feel they have weak leverage, constantly ask for more authority, and end up giving discounts we don’t want. How can we reverse this and...

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