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Eureka: Negotiating the best deal
by Jay Gutman
2018-01-11 12:30:17
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The best deals tend to be negotiated on Tuesday afternoons or Thursday afternoons, worst deals on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. Here's a list of some clauses you want to avoid.

-”The cultural clause.” Business is business, and while culture may play a small role, I don't advise organizations to attach too much importance to culture. In terms of culture it's not our way or their way, it's a mixture of both. If your negotiating partner is playing the cultural card way too often, don't sign the deal. Culture is sometimes an excuse to getting a better deal.

deal00_400-”This clause or no deal.” If a partner insists on one particular clause, you want to think about whether you should cede the clause or cancel the deal. Technically, no clause is indispensible, but if, for whatever legal or practical reason a clause is indispensible, you want to think twice before you sign the contract.

-”I have the knowledge, you have the money clause.” If one has the knowledge, know-how or technology, he or she might want to patent it or try to sell it to businesses, or perhaps get hired by a firm. When one has exclusive knowledge, the other exclusively finances the deal, that means you're giving money to someone who decides all by himself how to use it. You want the kind of deal where you have a say on how the money is spent.

-”the last minute additional clause.” If someone changes their mind at the last minute, you want to wonder how many more times they will change their mind.

-”the let's talk about all this face-to-face clause” There's this wonderful thing called the internet and email, that enables us to filter the “donkeys” out, that is to tell serious deals from fictitious deals apart. In email or mail correspondance, you can get an idea of who your negotiating partner is. Once you agree on the basics via electronic correspondance, you can move to direct talks. The direct talks will only confirm that you're dealing with people who are serious about making a deal.

-”The Dr. Smith, Ph.D. ; M.D. ; J.D. ; Sc. D. : D. Comm. : SS. D. from Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Tokyo University and Beijing Central University clause” if you're dealing with an intellectual, be it someone who has many degrees and shows it, or has degrees from prestigious universties, you want to make sure that the product he or she offers measures up to the degrees the person has. Don't be impressed by degrees or intellect. Focus on the deal.

-”The miss Universe clause.” Beauty has the same blinding effects as intellect. If you're negotiating with someone who belongs to a beauty pagent, focus on the deal, that is on the product and deal at large.

-”The let's go discuss this elsewhere clause.” When exchanging emails, you want to make sure the first few meetings will be held on table with chairs, if possible coffee and water, if possible in a professional office at the company headquarters. You want a clear meeting agenda and you want to save champagne or grilled meat for when the deal is completely sealed.

-”The I'll bring my friends over to back me up clause.” This happens frequently, when you discuss something and then suddenly their friends start showing up and they've discussed a completley different thing with their boss. That's the sign of a bad deal coming.

-”The silent clause.” Silence is never a good sign, in all cultures. If the person you're dealing with is abnormally silent, it means he or she doesn't like the way the deal is headed. They might have reasons why the deal can't work that they don't want to discuss.

-”The deceptive clause.” If anything you discussed over email or in early meetings does not match up to reality, time to cancel the deal.

In negotiating there's something called a BATNA, that is a best alternative to the negotiated agreement. Before starting the deal, you want to know what your best alternatives are. When negotiating with an alternative in mind, you have the upper hand. An alternative will enable you to focus on the negotiation and not to hurry to sign agreements.

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