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Published by: Baengeo on Feb 19, 2011
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Fact-gathering must be part of the preparations for every negotiations session, but

the key is to gather facts that you might need—not just the facts that you will need.

Being able to present them at the most appropriate and critical times has made

the difference in countless negotiation situations. Sometimes, the other party will

ignore or refuse to believe the information, but the right facts presented at the right

time can chill or astound and completely turn things around.

Example 1

Henry and Maria Lopez are interested in a house that lists for $275,000.

They believe it is overpriced. The owner, Sam Jones, has owned the house for

24 years and is downsizing to a condo.

Henry Lopez: We love the house and have made a written offer of $240,000.

Sam Jones: What? That’s $35,000 under the listing price!

Maria Lopez: We realize that, but we feel that it’s a fair offer.

Sam Jones: How can you say that?

Maria Lopez: We went to the county courthouse and looked up the real estate

transactions for all the houses in this neighborhood that were sold

over the past two years. Here’s a list of the five that are about the

same size as yours. They sold for: $225,000; $229,000; $235,000;

$237,000; and $237,500. This offer is for more money than any

four-bedroom houses on this neighborhood list. We love your

house, but you’ve priced it way too high.

Sam Jones: I’ll get back to you.

(Next day)

Sam Jones: We’ve reviewed the records you’ve produced, and we are counter-

ing with an offer of $250,000.

Making Progress


Henry Lopez: Let us discuss this for a minute.

Sam Jones: Well…

Henry Lopez: We have a written counter of $245,000.

Sam Jones: We accept.


The Joneses had based their asking price on the advice of a friend, who was not

particularly knoledgeable about real estate. The facts presented by Henry and

Maria Lopez caused Jones to re-counter their asking and likely sale price.

Example 2

Supervisor: You know the policy. You can’t pay more than $1,600 for a com-



My staff has done a lot of research, and we know that only this model

will meet our needs. We’ve talked with purchasing and we have the

authority to buy seven for $2,400 each. That’s the bottom price.

Supervisor: If I okay this purchase order, I’ll get called on the carpet. No one can

go over $1,600 unless the company president approves.


While I was at purchasing, I asked for a list of all new PCs bought

this year. Here it is. The last 20 were over $2,000 each.

Supervisor: Well, I’ll be… Okay, if other departments have ignored the policy,

let’s not worry about it. Order the new computers.


Hatfield had anticipated what his supervisor’s position would be, and did his

homework. He found facts that supported his position, and wisely chose exactly

when to present them in order to make his point.


50 Practical Negotiation Tactics

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