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3. At the end, signal inflexibility with these phrases: "I've given this a great deal of thought, and it's the best I can do. Any more and it's not worth it for me to do the deal."

This is it. No more. Be firm but not stubborn. And be more explicit here about your leverage -- what you may do if you can't reach a deal with this counterpart. If you have a good alternative to a deal with this counterpart, consider sharing it.

Also, avoid the phrase "take it or leave it." These words often create unnecessary resistance and put your counterpart on the defensive. This usually is counterproductive.

Finally, please don't wing it in the offer-concession stage.

Consider the exact language and phrases you want to use and then use them. It's extremely difficult to take back off-the-cuff remarks that may inadvertently come out.

It's often expensive to take them back, too.

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 thatís 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 is the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martinís Press, 2004). For more and for previous columns, see or email Marty at

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May/June 2005