21 rules of negotiation

The Critical Rules

Rule 1: No free gifts! Seek a trade-off (“OK, if . . .”) for each concession you make.

Rule 2: Start high.

Rule 3: Follow a dramatic initial concession with sharply diminishing concessions.

Rule 4: Krunch early and often.

Rule 5: Never settle issues individually. Settle all issues as a package—only as a package—at the end.

Rule 6: Conclude with a nibble.

Rule 7: Keep looking for creative (high value–low cost) concessions to trade.

7. The Important but Obvious Rules

Rule 8: Do your homework.

Rule 9: Keep the climate positive.

Rule 10: Never assume that an issue is non-negotiable just because the other side says it is. In reality, almost everything is negotiable.

Rule 11: Never accept the other side’s first offer.

8. The Nice to Do Rules

Rule 12: Start slowly.

Rule 13: Set a complete agenda.

Rule 14: Discuss the small things first.

Rule 15: Be patient.

Rule 16: Use/beware the power of legitimacy.

Rule 17: Keep your authority limited. Try to negotiate against people with higher authority.

Rule 18: Consider using good guy–bad guy.

Rule 19: Try to have the other side make the first offer.

Rule 20: Keep your team small and under control.

Rule 21: Try to have the other side travel to you.