Last Updated Jul 28, 2009 11:35 AM EDT
Don't. Let the other guy walk first.
This is the uber golden rule of negotiation, says Anthony Tijan in his Harvard Business Publishing blog post, Four Rules for Effective Negotiations.
"Make the offer you want and let the other side walk if they don't want it. This is not to say to be offensive or to low ball, but rather to be honest, straightforward on what you are willing to do and explain that you understand if it does not work for them and that it is the best you can do."What I like about this advice is that it brings the negotiation to a clean close from which all parties can walk away with heads held high. The "final" offer is so labeled, each side has explained its position, and there is only one more step to be taken: accept or go home.
Not all negotiations end with a deal, but they all should end with each side better understanding what matters most to the other side. That information will be useful the next time these parties meet.
What's your end-game strategy?