The Negotiator Magazine

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Ask For More Than You Expect To Get

Roger Dawson

One of the cardinal rules of Power Negotiating is that you should ask the other side for more than you expect to get. Henry Kissinger went so far as to say, "Effectiveness at the conference table depends upon overstating one's demands."

Think of some reasons why you should do this:

If you're a salesperson:

If you thought about this, you probably came up with a few good reasons to ask for more than you expect to get. The obvious answer is that it gives you some negotiating room. If you're selling, you can always come down, but you can never go up on price. If you're buying, you can always go up, but you can never come down. What you should be asking for is your MPP-your maximum plausible position. This is the most that you can ask for and still have the other side see some plausibility in your position.

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