Thoughts on Tech, Deals, and Markets

Options in Negotiations

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Effective negotiations depends on having options.  Everyone knows that if you get a crappy hand in poker your outlook is bleak.  Fortunately, real life isn’t like poker.  You can turn over as many cards as you want.  So  I urge friends, prospects, and clients alike to maximize options in any negotiation.

Often it’s an uphill battle.  A company gets a feeler from a prospective buyer.  A friend gets interest from a prospective employer.  For the company or friend, it’s exciting.  You want to play it out.  Why disrupt that tantalizing possibility by creating a competitive process?  Won’t it slow things down?  What would that prospective buyer or employer say if they knew you were talking to someone else?  Isn’t that disloyal?

On the contrary.  First, realize that the buyer or employer is probably talking to other people as well.  Especially if they are serious about hiring a person or buying a company like you.  So why shouldn’t you also explore your options and create leverage?  Moreover, any buyer or employer that doesn’t want you to talk to anyone else is either (a.) looking for a naive target that they can take advantage of, (b.) unethical, or, often, (c.) both.

Written by sandykory

January 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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