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4. Don't sign right away.

Finally, take a break at the end and re-evaluate the "final" deal relative to your initial goal. Take some time -- even if it's just overnight -- to gather your analytical and logical thoughts. It will be time well-spent.

For instance, consider whether you wanted the extended warranty when you walked into the dealership. Did it make sense to you then?

Just knowing that you may be unduly influenced by vivid language and pictures will help inoculate you to their impact.

Admittedly, though, it's tough. Companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and advertising to make their products and services appeal to us.

Often, they use vivid images and language to try to convince us to open up our pocketbooks. Our natural inclination is to believe this vivid information as it makes it appear more real to us.

For many, this is a very expensive inclination.

Marty Latz

Marty Latz, a negotiation columnist for The Business Journal of Phoenix where this column originally appeared, is President of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has developed and taught negotiation training programs and seminars for corporations, cities, bar associations and law firms nationwide. Participants at his courses leave behind the intuitive and instinctive -- along with their inherent uncertainties -- and develop the strategic mindset that’s at the heart of successful negotiation.

A Harvard Law honors graduate, Marty is also an Adjunct Professor-Negotiation at Arizona State University College of Law. He also negotiated for The White House nationally and internationally on The White House Advance Teams. Marty’s book, Gain the Edge! Negotiation Strategies to Get What You Want was published this Spring. For more and for previous columns, see www.NegotiationInstitute.com or email Marty at Latz@NegotiationInstitute.com.

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