The problem is, overstating your demands can be heard as “Take it or leave it” unless you state your high demands flexibly.
Here’s what we mean:
Inflexible approach. “You want $20,000 a year for your service, but I’m offering you only $12,000.”
Flexible approach. “You want $20,000 a year for your service, but, based on my research, I believe it’s worth only $12,000. Perhaps you know something that I don’t?”
The flexible strategy nets you new information, and it prolongs negotiations instead of shutting them down.
—Adapted from Secrets of Power Negotiating, Roger Dawson, Career Press.