According to Herb Cohen:

According to Herb Cohen (“Negotiate This!”):

1. Setting Objectives:

Break down your objectives as: (1) “must haves”; (2) “would likes”; and (3) “tradeables”.

“If you expect more, you get more.”

2. Making How Concessions: The other side loves concessions. So, create an issue that you don’t care about (e.g. venue), and then give in – after an appropriate courtship.

3. Open with Commonality:

“How’s the wife/husband and kids? How hot can it get?”

Start slow.

Default mode:

  • Active listening
  • Note taking
  • Empathy

Start with the easiest issue and build momentum.

Response to “no”: “Why do you say that?”

If you get down to one issue (not a good idea), “fractionalize” it.

4. “The Titanic Principle”: Drill down on values, motivations, interests, concerns, needs, and pleasure centers.

5. “The Ping-Pong Table Theory of Life”:

An example of the Titanic Principle; we all buy stuff because of what it symbolizes, not necessarily its practical value.

Conclusion: If you can figure out what turns people on, you can frame the negotiations accordingly. If both parties exchange this information, “Give Peace a Chance” plays on a radio station in Liverpool.

6. Broadening the Gauge: When you get stuck, seek more information.

7. The Vail Condo: not an essential step, Herb. Herb has a story about buying a condo in Vail, like big-shot negotiators do, and how he sought more information and determined that a cash offer, as opposed to an offer contingent upon financing, would win the day. It may have worked, Herb, but this is an example of broadening the gauge, and you promised us TEN essential steps. You owe us (your readers) one!

8. Make ‘Em Work:

This is a good one.

Every successful negotiation requires movement towards agreement.

Except in extreme cases, negotiators expect their counterparts to “start high” and make concessions; successful negotiation is successful concession strategy.

Successful negotiating means luring your counterpart into prolonged negotiations, understanding that the more time they invest in the process, the more they are going to be inclined to reach an agreement.

9. You Owe me an Apology:

What is with you people who are hung up on apologizing? It costs nothing. Be humble!

The basic rules of “damage control”:

  • Get out in front of the story.
  • Take full responsibility and apologize without qualification.

1o, Closing the Deal: To get to closure, you need:

  • Investment in the process: discussed earlier.
  • Basis for comparison: The parties need some kind of measure for the fairness of the deal.
  • Concession rate: Negotiation wisdom says that the smaller the moves of the other side, the closer they are to their “bottom line”.
  • Options: We all like to shop and compare, and few of us will close even the simplest deal without considering our options?

Thanks, Herb. You owe me one, but well done, nonetheless.