I have long admired Roger Dawson’s teachings in his writings and lectures on sales, motivation and negotiation. After all, trial lawyers are in a profession of sales and persuasion. Why not learn from the masters in the business world? His book Secrets of Power Negotiating, available at Amazon and other outlets, is an excellent encyclopedia for techniques of negotiation. Here is a short summary of some of his principles, but for a complete understanding I recommend purchase of his book and otherwritings.
1. ASK FOR MORE THEN YOU EXPECT TO GET
(1)You never know, you might just get it
(2)The Less you know about who you are up against, the more to ask for
(3)Start with MPP “maximum plausible position” in your initial position
2.GET THE OTHER SIDE TO MAKE THE FIRST OFFER
3.NEVER SAY YES TO THE FIRST OFFER
(1)Always flinch at the first offer with shock and surprise
(2)Don’t threaten & avoid confrontation. Instead use the “feel, felt, found” approach: [I understand exactly how you feel aboutthat. I felt exactly the same way. but you know what I’ve found when I took a closer look? I found….]
4.PLAY RELUCTANT ROLE
(1) Be reluctant to agree. Use: What is the very best offer you feel you can make?
5.USE: “YOU’LL HAVE TO DO BETTER THEN THAT”
(1) After the offer, respond with this phrase and stop. See what happens
6.USE THE NEED TO CONSULT A HIGHER AUTHORITY
(1) Advise you need to consult with someone else before making a decision – a “higher authority.”
7.WATCH FOR CONVERSATIONAL CLUES
(1) Note “throw away’s” indicating something significant, like “By the way, as you are aware..” or “I’ll try..” or trial balloons like: “Off the top of my head..”
8.DON’T OFFER TO SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
1) Like not making the first offer, let the other side make this proposal. It gives you an opportunity to respond by suggesting that the difference be split again to your favor.
9.TEMPORARILY SET ASIDE ISSUES OF DISAGREEMENT
(1) When reaching an impasse on some issue, suggest it be set aside for the moment and talk about other issues you can agree to. (2) Avoid backing into a corner where negotiations depend on just one issue
10. DON’T MAKE EQUAL CONCESSIONS
(1)Don’t make your counter proposals an equal concession for every offer or a pattern develops which locks in your position
(2)Don’t make your final concession a big one – make it small
11. MAKE TIME YOUR ALLY
(1) Remember the 80/20 principle: 80% of the progress and concessions are made in the last 20% of the time available
(2) The person under the greatest time pressure generally loses in negotiations.
12. AVOID LAST MINUTE NIBBLES
(1) The most vulnerable point is when the agreement has been reached. That’s whenlast minute concessions are asked for because you are most vulnerable to making new concessions since agreement has been reached.
13. HAVE THE COURAGE TO WALK AWAY
(1)Don’t negotiate past the point when you are willing to walk away from the deal.
14. BE THE ONE WHO WRITES THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
(1) The person writing the settlement agreement has another opportunity to seek concessions by inserting them into the agreement.