How to negotiate – bracketing your needs

By March 19, 2008blog

The second negotiating technique that I’ve learned in the past year is what I call “bracketing”. I learned this from my attorney as well.

In the process of selling RegOnline, there were hundreds of terms that had to be negotiated. For example, how much of the purchase price would be set aside in escrow. The other side says they want 20% when they really will settle for a 15% escrow. Instead of us saying 10% and meeting in the middle. We would say we are willing to do 10-15% in escrow dependent on other terms of the escrow (like length of time of the escrow).

This is a brilliant approach to negotiating for the following reasons:
1. It’s more honest and builds more trust and respect as a result
2. It takes into account that there’s never just one term to be negotiated and gives room to get more beneficial terms on the other components
3. It sets a framework where the other side can feel like they’ve won by bringing you to the top end of your bracket (which almost always happens)

Overall, it makes the negotiations go faster and enables everyone involved to feel better about the end results.

Give it a try. The next time you want to go skiing for a half day, tell your significant other you’re thinking about going skiing for a full to half day depending on how they feel. When they say they’d prefer you keep it to a half day – tell them it’s a done deal if it includes a back rub afterwards. 😉

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