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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Making Positive Exchanges

During negotiations, it is important to maintain positive exchanges by using the following techniques:

  • Use “if-then” language. To maintain balance in the negotiation, don’t make a concession without getting something in return. Using the framework of “If ..., then ...,” provides a method of signaling the reciprocity that you demand: “If I pay full price, then I expect free delivery.” However, be willing to offer something in return for what you want: “If I can get more staff for this project, then I can guarantee that we will meet your deadline.” By connecting the two concessions, you are indicating a balance in concessions.

  • If you’re stuck, involve the other party. Offering to do something else to help often breaks a deadlock or introduces more currencies than initially offered. As we see in Chapter 8, brainstorming generates options that may help to break an impasse. A more general way to expand the pie includes involving the other party by saying, “What else could we do that will satisfy both our needs?”

  • Don’t give all your currencies or resources to the other party. After listing some concession options, ask comparison questions: “Which of these is more valuable to you?” If the other party insists on too much, give him a choice: “I can’t give you both more equipment and three more support personnel. Which one would you prefer?” A preplanned settlement range for each issue will determine how much you are willing to offer and what value it has to the ...

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