Friday, February 09, 2007

Negotiating Tactics

Besides the stuff on building a corporate development department, this last issue of Corporate Dealmaker also has a piece on negotiations that stresses the importance of preparing for big negotiating sessions and focusing on structural/relationship issues rather than tactics. The acticle includes a great paraphrased quote from Marty Lipton (long-term readers will know I've spent my share of late evenings at his firm): "You can get the price up 2% by at-the-table tactics; by bringing in other credible buyers you can bring the price up by 50%."

I've got little use for negotiating tactics, and I'd take this one further: That 2% opportunity is offset by an increased risk that you'll crater the deal with juvenile, offensive or misdirected tactics. Spend the time figuring out what the other side needs to get. Make sure your own objectives aren't muddled. Then go to the negotiating table as yourself - you won't need to play any games.

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