The world is full of impulsive and over-competitive negotiators. We mentioned one in Rule 8 above. In actuality, they shouldn’t even be called negotiators. They are instead vulnerable buyers and sellers. They enter a transaction with good intentions, but get caught up in the process, the ‘I have
to have this’ mentality and end up making a bad decision. We’ve all made our share of ‘bad deals’. We can remember such times because after making the deal, through the clarity of hindsight, we have second thoughts, regrets and buyer’s remorse. We’re even prone to ask, “What was I thinking when I did that?”

This rule is the basis of measured, sound and reasonable decision-making. Simply build a sound negotiating strategy before emotions take hold, before impulses impact us and before we become too competitive.

Here are a few questions to consider when building that pre-negotiating strategy:

  1. How disappointed will I be if I can’t make this deal?
    2. Who else has done this recently that I could talk to?
    3. What would be the terms that would make this a really good deal for me?
    4. What would be the terms that would make this an acceptable deal for me?
    5. What is the highest price I’d pay (or lowest price I’d accept) to put this deal together?
    6. How will I break off negotiations if things get out of hand?
    7. Who can I get to counsel me on this decision?
    8. What alternative do I have if this deal won’t go together at terms that make sense to me?

If your role in a negotiation is to act for another or to represent a principal in a negotiation, you should encourage and facilitate a strategy building session with your client before they’re prone to any emotions and impulses. Isn’t that what you’d want if the roles were reversed. You’d hope that someone is looking out for your best interests and protect you from making a potentially bad decision.