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Why would anyone want a “Negotiation Partner” | especially from “outside”?

The Worst Person To Negotiate For You is You!

One of the most fundamental questions about any negotiation that has to be answered is who should be running the show? If you ask most of us, we’d tell you that it’s the person who is ultimately in charge – the big man/ woman?

It turns out that this is the wrong answer. We really don’t want them anywhere near the actual negotiations. The reason is quite intuitive actually.


Who Should Be Doing The Negotiating?

If you work for a company and there is a big deal on the table, you would most likely think that the CEO should be involved in the negotiations. I mean after all, no deal is going to get done without his or her approval and it seems like things would move more smoothly if they were there – in the middle of the discussions – instead of having to be briefed by you.

The top person who will make the final decisions is too powerful to be permitted to participate in the negotiations.

Instead, you are going to want to have the negotiations lead by a skilled negotiator who understands the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. They need to be good at what they do, and important that everyone knows that they are not in control of the ‘final word’.

Instead, they’ll negotiate the best deal that they can, take it to the powers that be for approval.

 Why is this separation of power is so important?

When a deal is reached, you want to have the option of saying that “the deal looks good and just needs approval.”

This buys you that most precious of all resources: time – time to examine, consult, or double check.

If the head person was involved in the negotiations the other side could rightly expect them to be able to make a final decision on the spot but this would eliminate your ability to give the proposal a little time to cook rather than making snap decisions that you may end up regretting.


There are two types of negotiators and the separation of power serves both:

The EXPERIENCED. They’re often…

  • Tough
  • Win/ lose; though they “win” mostly
  • Perceived as strong

The INEXPERIENCED. They’re often…

  • Easily intimidated
  • Challenged when confronted with ultimatums or coercions
  • Too quick to accept “the best offer”

Good negotiations are never about win/ lose.

The most common weakness in most negotiators is that of “leaving value on the table” and that is almost always directly linked to the 80/20 rule:

Negotiation is 80% preparation and 20% dialogue. That (80%) is a very good reason to have a negotiation thought partner.


My father said: you must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals ~ J. Paul Getty