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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Use a Few Strong Reasons—Avoid Argument Dilution

You can sink your boat by providing too much information. Using too many reasons invites the other person to take issue with the weakest reason for your position. Focus on a few compelling reasons rather than overwhelming the other person with more reasons than necessary. The old adage “When the boat hits the shore, stop rowing” comes to mind. The following provides a contrasting example:

(Good) Here are the six reasons why this report is so important.

(Better) This report is critical to our department’s budget discussion.

Discovering the limits of logic will help you become a better negotiator. Incentives that address the question, “What’s in it for me?” work much more effectively.

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