The Negotiator Magazine

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You might also consider adding one or two other people from your organization and creating a team for your negotiations. This has several advantages. First, you will, of course, inform your contact at the other firm of the change and reinforce the importance of ensuring that all the decision-makers will be present. Committing more resources makes a statement that this is a critical meeting and what the terms will be at the session. All the decision-makers will be need to be present or it will have to be rescheduled. Additionally, it provides some parity at the table. Three vs. one is not an easy position with this type of style. If you go this way, of course, you will have to manage your team and make certain that each member knows their role, the message, the strategy and that you are the spokesperson and leader.

Now you should be ready to enter the negotiations with confidence. It is critical that you take control of the process immediately.

If the games begin again, you need to call them on it right away. Point out clearly and calmly what you believe is happening and your concerns about it. Give them a chance to save face, but make it plain that continuing in this manner is not an option. Then, wait. Say nothing. The ball is in their court. It is their turn.

My expectation is that you will achieve a rapid and positive change in their behavior. I have seen it happen many times. If that happens, stay alert. They may try to reopen the game with another scheme. If they do, point it out again and make it clear you will not tolerate or continue in this fashion. You now have the power position and they know it. If nothing changes, it is time to walk away firmly and without anger. Itís not the right deal and you will have saved valuable time that can be more productively devoted to the pursuit of your best alternative.

Good luck,

John Baker

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