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THE STIPULATION GAMBIT

Benefit:Move a person from considering to “willing to do” by neutralizing your weak points.

Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.—MARCUS VALERIUS MARTIAL, ROMAN POET

If you’re familiar with courtroom procedures, you know that lawyers do something they call “stipulation.” It means they agree up-front on something.

For instance, if a lawyer stipulates that John Doe’s fingerprints were on the gun that killed his mother-in-law, then everyone agrees to that fact. The other lawyer doesn’t need to call in experts to testify to this, and Doe’s lawyer can move on to the next step: proving that the shooting was justified.

Why is stipulation a smart technique? Because when people already know (or will quickly ...

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