Here are the nine rules:
- Rule #1: Prepare thoroughly. Collect and evaluate information on leverage, values, sale prices, competition and other factors that will have an effect upon the negotiation.
- Rule #2: Develop realistic expectations. Temper your aspirations with "feasibility" based upon what your counterpart has in mind, and reassess your expectations as the negotiating progresses.
- Rule #3: Know your pricing parameters. When it comes to price, before bidding, know the deal you want and are able justify as being realistic.
- Rule #4: Decide whether to "go first" or not. If you put your own number on the table, you put your counterpart into your ballpark. But, beware, you might accidentally low-ball.
- Rule #5: Give yourself room to maneuver. Leave yourself some bargaining room, but make sure that you have a plausible rationale for the positions that you take.
- Rule #6: Manage the concession process. Let your counterpart know that every concession is meaningful and don't let your counterpart think that holding out will reap big rewards.
- Rule #7: Create and sustain credibility. Buttress any positions that you take with appropriate rationales. Be specific about your facts, and stay detached from the emotion of the negotiations.
- Rule #8: Negotiate until the contract is signed. Don't relax once there's a meeting of the minds because negotiating a written contract is an important final step.
- Rule #9: Know when it's time to close. If the negotiation is going well and you've got most of what you want, don't keep negotiating.
READERS: You have any other tips? I'm sure that many of you have negotiated some complicated deals at one time or another!