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4. Aim high. People who aim higher do better. If you expect more, you'll get more. Successful negotiators are optimists. A proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position. Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay.
5. Be patient. This is very difficult for Americans. We want to get it over with. Whoever is more flexible about time has the advantage. Your patience can be devastating to the other negotiator if they are in a hurry.
6. Focus on satisfaction. Help the other negotiator feel satisfied. Satisfaction means that their basic interests have been fulfilled. Don't confuse basic interests with positions: Their position is what they say they want; their basic interest is what they really need to get.
7. Don't make the first move. The best way to find out if the other negotiator's aspirations are low is to induce them to open first. They may ask for less than you think. If you open first, you may give away more than is necessary.
8. Don't accept the first offer. If you do, the other negotiator will think they could have done better. (It was too easy.) They will be more satisfied if you reject the first offer -- because when you eventually say "yes," they will conclude that they have pushed you to your limit.
9. Don't make unilateral concessions. Whenever you give something away, get something in return. Always tie a string: "I'll do this if you do that." Otherwise you are inviting the other negotiator to ask you for more.
10. Brodow's Law: Always be willing to walk away! Never negotiate without options.
If you depend too much on the positive outcome of a negotiation, you lose your ability to say "no." Clients often ask me, "Ed, if you could give me one piece of advice about negotiating, what would it be?" My answer, without hesitation, is: "Always be willing to walk away."
You can go pretty far with these basic ideas. If you want to dig deeper, consult my negotiation products, or -- better yet -- book me to speak at your organization's next meeting or convention.
Ed Brodow is a motivational speaker, negotiation guru on PBS, and author of Negotiate with Confidence and Beating the Success Trap. For more information on his keynotes and seminars, call 831-372-7270 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit http://www.brodow.com.
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