Dos and don’ts negotiating professional fees

Do go into a negotiation with a positive mindset- it will help you focus on opportunities and help you encourage your counterpart to jointly come up with “win-win” solutions

Do be ambitious- setting ambitious and realistic targets will help you improve your negotiation success. Remember- it is difficult to end up with something better than originally asked for.

Do look for opportunities to increase the overall size of the deal, i.e. the pie, via trade-offs- one of the commonest mistakes is to assume that there is only one issue to negotiate as this can only lead to a “win-lose” situation.

Do go first- anchors are some of the most effective tools in a negotiators armoury

Don’t let emotions get in the way- being objective and keeping emotions out of the way will allow you to become for flexible and spot opportunities

Don’t threaten- this will only lead to escalation or counter threats

Don’t be overconfident about getting positive outcome – prepare for the worst. Negotiations don’t happen on their own and besides, what if the other side prepares, would you want to go into a negotiation at such a disadvantage?

Don’t assume fixed pie- Few negotiations are truly of a “fixed pie” nature. Look for the multiple negotiation issues and find ways to trade-off using different interests and values

Don’t give away concessions- always ask for a counter concession, even if it is only of symbolic value. It is surprising how much incremental value can be gained or lost if concessions are traded or given away

Don’t fear negotiation- they have become a fact of modern day law and are here to stay. Good negotiations will improve economic success and contribute to relationships

© Ori Wiener, MPSFG 2013


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