Negotiation Tips

Don't let others cherry-pick your deals: Keep them fair and balanced

by Erich Rifenburgh

Every Negotiation Experience class has a simple message that echoes throughout the room: "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." This powerful mantra reminds us that the deals we negotiate must be looked at in their totality.

Far too often, negotiations become ensnared in single-issue focus, where one side cherry-picks the negotiable they desire most. It's crucial not to fall victim to this manipulative trap. One effective way to counter such behavior is by firmly reminding your counterparty that our deal comprises many negotiables, and when one is touched, they are all back in play. In my experience, I have witnessed how this simple reminder swiftly halts cherry-picking in its tracks. Few individuals desire to reopen all aspects of a previously agreed-upon deal, but many wish to renegotiate the one negotiable that benefits them most.

In your next negotiation, I urge you to step back and reorient your mindset. Remember that everything isn't agreed to until everything is agreed to. Conditionally agreeing to certain aspects while keeping the overall deal in mind improves creativity and increases deal value for both sides.

By embracing the concept of comprehensive agreements, you establish a framework that encourages holistic thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and mutual understanding. It allows you to move beyond narrow, one-dimensional discussions and instead engage in a broader exploration of possibilities. This approach paves the way for win-win outcomes and strengthens the foundation for long-term relationships.

So, as you embark on your next negotiation, remember that nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to!  

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