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Bob Meyer

Beyond The Limits Of Cash or Credit

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In Your Barter Negotiating, Be Careful What you Say

Words and phrases are important when negotiating as the following examples illustrate. Embrace these suggestions for better results:

         Using the word �between� is tantamount to a concession.

When you say, �I can do this for between $10,000 and $15,000,� a shrewd negotiator will quickly zero in on the lesser price. Don�t automatically concede ground without extracting anything in return.

         If you indicate �I think we�re close� in your negotiation, you�ve just admitted that you value reaching an agreement over getting what you actually want.

Unless you�re actually facing extreme time pressure, don�t be the one to point out that the clock is ticking in the background. Rather, create a situation where your counterpart is as eager to finalize the negotiation � or more eager � than you are.

         Studies show that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer.

When a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer. So suggesting �Why don�t you throw out a number?� can be tricky, as the first number uttered in a negotiation has the effect of anchoring the conversation.

         One of the joys of being an entrepreneur is that you get to call the shots.

Yet in negotiations, especially with large organizations, when you announce that you�re the final decision maker you can be trapped. You should instead establish at the beginning of a negotiation that there is some higher authority with whom you must speak, prior to saying yes (a key investor, a partner, a member of your advisory board).

         While you�ll almost certainly be making the decision, you do not want the opposing negotiators to know that you are the final decision maker.

Particularly in a high-stakes deal, you will definitely benefit from taking an extra 24 hours to think through the terms. For entrepreneurs this strategy can be taxing, but for once pretend that you aren�t the person who makes all the decisions.

         Lastly, remember that it pays to stay calm and to never show that a low counter-offer or an annoying stalling tactic has upset you.

The savviest negotiators take nothing personally � they are impervious to criticism and impossible to fluster. When you act unmoved by the situation and unimpressed with the stakes involved, you�ll have the advantage of unnerving less-experienced counterparts. This can be an effective weapon against small-business owners who often take every aspect of their businesses very personally.

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