Negotiating on behalf of a client is part of everyday business for attorneys in every type of law practice. Each negotiation presents a unique set of challenges. How should attorneys prepare for negotiations to get the best outcome for their clients?
Client-Ready CLE Source asked Ellie Vilendrer, Vilendrer Law, PC, about the best negotiation strategies to resolve conflicts and close agreements.
Client-Ready CLE Source: How should you strategize your opening position?
Ellie Vilendrer: Make your opening position strong by demanding an amount that is as high, or offering an amount that is as low, as you can reasonably justify. The first reasonable demand or offer will set the bargaining range for the entire negotiation.
CRCS: What does the phrase ‘don’t negotiate against yourself’ mean?
EV: “Don’t negotiate against yourself” means if you make an offer that the other side rejects, wait until the other side gives you a counter-offer before making a new offer. You should expect that short of acceptance, the other side make a reasonable counter-offer to your reasonable offer. If you prematurely better your reasonable offer you will be negotiating against yourself.
CRCS: What are some of the risks of a negotiation going on too long?
EV: Some risks of a negotiation going on too long are that you could lose the deal because circumstances have changed, lose leverage and thus your ability to get your best outcome because circumstances have changed, or that the parties lose excitement or motivation to get the deal done and discussions become stale. Strike while the iron is hot – while everyone is motivated to close the deal.
CRCS: Is there a strategy for negotiating from a position of weakness?
EV: No. But there are many strategies you can employ to get a good outcome despite your position of weakness. Not all negotiations will (or should) end in deals. If you find yourself negotiating from an intractable position of weakness, your best bet may be to improve your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.
Do you know what it takes to gain a competitive edge during the rigorous give and take of the negotiation process? Client-Ready CLE Source examines how to create great deals and reduce exposures that could jeopardize winning outcomes during the 60-minute webinar, Become a Better Negotiator in 60 Minutes. Click here to learn more.
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Interview originally posted here: http://www.morethancle.org/gain-edge-next-negotiation/