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On the other hand, the client had to understand that the landlord was entitled to be paid according to the lease. A landlord is doing nothing wrong by expecting to be paid. Tenants often try to blame the landlord for charging too much to begin with, and squeezing the company into an unfair lease. I had to get this client to also Push the Refresh Button and focus on the current situation and what they could afford. Whether the client wants to get out of the lease completely or just get some relief doesnít matter, most landlords will work with a client who is forthright, respectful, and accepts that the landlord is entitled to a fair deal. The problem here was that my client had never presented financials that revealed their situation. The landlord rightly felt that if he was to receive less money then the tenant had to show that they were significantly reducing their overhead across the board.
I convinced my client that in order to successfully renegotiate the lease they had to further reduce their overhead, including the shareholders' salary. Once the tenant demonstrated that they had reduced their overhead to the landlordís satisfaction, he was then willing to give them some relief. He agreed to reduce the rent from $25,500 per month to $12,000 per month for the four months from January to April. This was a relief of $54,000. This meant that the tenant could use this $54,000 to build back up their business. They would use this money for marketing and promotion. The tenant would begin to pay the landlord back in January at $5,000 a month with no interest. The payback would take until November. Everybody was satisfied that this was a very fair deal under the circumstances.
I have created five principles for renegotiating anything. In my forthcoming book, How Good Is Your Word? Renegotiating With Integrity, I go into the details of the following principles. My book should be available later this Fall.
1. Push the Refresh Button
This basic principle tells you to go into each renegotiation without anger or ego. You need to set aside differences and past problems in order to move forward.
2. The Solution is Not Always in the Details
It is critical not to get bogged down in the details. The details, though important to understand, will most likely not produce a solution. Many times both sides tend to focus on these details arguing back and forth without ever moving forward. In most renegotiations you will not find a solution or create a settlement in the details of the issue. This is where your creativity as a renegotiator comes to play.
3. Keep Your Eye On The Orange Ball
It is important to note that someone is always in control of any negotiation or renegotiation. Control can go back and forth but is never shared. The Orange Ball technique allows us to tell who is in control of any negotiation or renegotiation and to what end. The Orange Ball is an image in your mind of who is in control of the negotiation or renegotiation process. During any negotiation or renegotiation keep an idea in your mind about which party is holding the Orange Ball and why. This way you will always know who is in control. Now you can decide either to keep the Orange Ball or if you have lost it how to get it back. This technique will help you to continually analyze the negotiation or renegotiation process thereby, allowing you to direct the process towards your goals.
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Copyright © 2003, Marc Freeman
Copyright © 2003, The Negotiator Magazine