I’ve never taken a negotiation course; not the ones they advertise in magazines, and not one in business school either. These rules are things I learned the hard way.
- Find the win win in the negotiation. You will never find yourself in business as a winner while the other is a loser, it is always two winners or two losers. So find the deal that fits comfortably for each party involved.
- Find a little empathy in the others situation. It's like when your mother told you as a child to walk a mile in someone else's shoes so you know how they feel. Think about what they want in the deal, how they feel in that situation and what they are thinking.
- Always get your negotiating done before the final contract is signed. A legal contract really just states what is and is not to be expected between both parties. In order to get something out of a legal situation you would have to sue under breach of contract to get anywhere and if you are at that step then you already have a big mess on your hands. So make sure you do the discussing, negotiation and mediating before hand.