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Let’s make a deal: 3 tactical tips

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You probably negotiate every day without even thinking about it. Whether you’re trying to coerce someone to do something at work or at home, you’re constantly figuring out what the other person needs so you can “get to yes.”

When it’s time to sit down and negotiate a lease contract or office-supply discount, have confidence that you’re a good negotiator. Use these tactical tips:

1. Don’t meet unless you know the decision-maker will be present. Call before the meeting and say, “I’m calling to see if the meeting’s still on.” When the person confirms, say, “Great, who’s coming?”

2. Plant a scapegoat for hard questions. If possible, bring along a colleague who can take the first shot at the answers to tough questions. That buys you extra time to come up with a more reasonable answer.

3. Inundate the other side with information. For example, when talking with a supply vendor, bring your purchasing history. The other side will have to slow down to look at the information, which gives you time to think through your words.

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