Follow Your NOs

Disagreeing without being disagreeable

I once saw a cartoon with a caption reading, "Salesmanship begins when the customer says, 'No!' " Likewise, negotiation begins with disagreement. How you react to the dispute is often more important than what it's about. Keeping conflict from becoming a catfight is one skill that distinguishes the seasoned negotiator.

A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, Marc Diener is the author of Deal Power: 6 Foolproof Steps to Making Deals of Any Size (Owl Books/Henry Holt). You can reach him at

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This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Follow Your NOs.

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