How to Negotiate: David Boies

Illustration by Neal Fox

You need to know what you would like to achieve and what you would accept as your last alternative—that is, what would you prefer to have as opposed to not getting any deal. The result of the negotiation will almost always be somewhere in between those two points. One of the things you try to find out first is whether the other side is in the same range or not. If it’s not, you can’t get a deal. You don’t want to posture. You want to maintain your credibility. When you tell the other side that the settlement has to be at a particular level, you want them to believe you. Don’t give false expectations that make the other side think you are prepared to settle at a lower level than you really are. That can cause them to dig in and not negotiate a deal you both would accept. Don’t stake out a position that’s so high they conclude that’s your walk-away point and everything ends right there.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.