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Brian Tracy! Art of Negotiation! Understanding What You Want

Art of Negotiation

Chapter 10. Understanding What You Want

The best way to get what you want is

to help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

It’s amazing how many people walk into negotiations

without knowing exactly what they want to achieve.

They often rush to think of their goals

and desires during the negotiation process.

That is why they are easily pressured,

persuaded and manipulated to buy

or sell at a higher or lower price.

In this difficult situation,

think very carefully about the ideal outcome you want to achieve.

Ask yourself,

“If this negotiation goes well, what will I gain?”

Draw them out on paper.

Write and describe all the things you desire.

Those who know exactly what they want

and can write it down will have an advantage over those

who are vague and uncertain when it comes to negotiations.


Discuss with others

Whenever possible, discuss the upcoming negotiation

with the other person

and elaborate on the ideal outcome you expect.

Discussing with others

and putting thoughts on paper doesn’t mean you’ll get a free product

or service or achieve your goal of putting others at a disadvantage.

By thinking through the negotiation thoroughly,

you’re more likely to come to an outcome

that’s mutually beneficial,

one that’s satisfying for both you and the other party.

As part of this psychological preparation,

determine how much you will pay for ideal results.

What are you willing to give or give

in order to get what you want in this negotiation?


Best, average and worst results

Think of three levels of possible outcomes:



and worst.

When entering into a negotiation,

you should calculate these three outcomes in advance

and target the best price and terms from the start.

Often, you’ll be surprised at what happens

when you start with the highest possible sell price

or the lowest possible buy price.

Due to factors beyond your control,

sometimes the other party will agree

with you immediately

and you do not need to negotiate further.

The average result is the one you can accept

and the third possible outcome is the worst possible outcome.

If you give in,

accepting the worst outcome,

that will be the minimum you agree to continue to trade.

It is called the “ultimate exit position”.

You will step back to this point even

if you don’t enjoy it,

it’s the lowest level where you agree

to move forward before leaving.

Determine in advance the lowest you can accept,

to be mentally prepared.

Start from the top (or bottom up)

When negotiating, where do you usually start negotiating?

You will start out at a slightly higher level than your optimal

or most ideal result.

You may have to make concessions

during the negotiation process

and end up at a lower level,

but always start with the best you want to achieve.

Negotiators of well-known companies all use this tactic.

In corporate contract negotiations,

negotiators typically start

with a request for a 50% increase in annual salary,

plus improvements in health care,

pensions and other benefits.

They make these offers as minimum requirements for new contracts.

When the situation calms down,

they accept a 5 per cent pay rise over two years

with no improvements in their health care or pension plans.

they then turned to union members

and hailed it as a huge victory.

Think ahead about your position at best,

average and worst,

to understand what you want and won’t accept.

Then start with the ideal outcome

and negotiate up (or down) from that starting point.

When you help others feel important,

you help yourself feel important too. — David J. Schwartz

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