NOV 2014

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 5 Negotiating Techniques From The Wharton School Of Business Everything is open for negotiation—even prices, schedules and product offerings that seem carved in stone. Steven G. Blum, who teaches at the Wharton School of Business, says no one has to just accept what's offered, but first you must hone your negotiating skills. The notion that you just have to fall in line and accept the options you're given is an extremely limiting one, says Blum, author of "Negotiating Your Investments: Use Proven Negotiation Methods to Enrich Your Financial Life" (Wiley, 2014, "Sharpen your negotiating skills and you'll unlock options and opportunities that you may have assumed were closed to you," he adds. "This can truly change your life." "Negotiating Your Investments" is an in-depth guide to applying proven principles of negotiation. Blum offers the following tips: 1. Know what you don't want, what you do want, and what's even better. One of the most important things a negotiator can do is figure out what she is trying to achieve. When you know exactly what you want, you can be purposeful in keeping the process moving toward your goals and avoiding measures that might throw you off course. 2. It's not a competition to win. Don't make agreements based on the idea of "winning" if they don't get you what you really want. 3. Don't worry about whether the other side is getting too much. This does not matter as long as you reach all your goals. And once a good deal comes into view, see if you can improve it before you close the deal. 4. Harness the power of BATNA. In negotiation, power comes from alternatives. You must identify your "Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)." Doing so lays the foundation for increasing negotiating strength, which presents the potential for greater control, influence and authority. 5. See that your interests come first, but make sure others' interests are served, too. Good negotiators pay a great deal of attention to underlying interests. They seek a deal that meets their own interests very well, satisfies the interests of other parties suffi- ciently, and adequately addresses those of all important players who are not part of the actual negotiation. If the agreement does not meet the needs of the other negotiation parties, they will not agree to enter into the deal. If they are somehow tricked into signing a contract that does not really work for them, they will seek ways to sabotage, escape, or otherwise not comply. That is not good for anyone. ■

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