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Ask 12 questions before negotiating

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Master negotiator Herb Cohen gives us questions you want to have answered before going into any negotiation:

  1. Why do they want this?
  2. What is their deadline?
  3. Who will make the decision, and how?
  4. How do they respond to conflict?
  5. What’s their bargaining style?
  6. Are there limits to their authority?
  7. What’s their negotiating experience?
  8. Do they have a realistic alternative?
  9. What incentives do they have?
  10. Are there underlying interests or concerns?
  11. Are they honest?
  12. What are they expecting?

Get as much information as time and the complexity of the deal permit. This kind of intelligence will help you as much as anything that happens at the negotiation itself.

—Adapted from Negotiate This! By Caring, But Not T-H-A-T Much, Herb Cohen, Warner Business Books.

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