When negotiating a deal, don't let yourself get caught up in the other side's tricky talk. Here are some examples of what to watch out for:
- Unidentified sources-if your opponent can't identify the source, ignore it.
- Citing authority-investigate their backgrounds; and remember, you can always find an equal and opposite authority.
- Analogies-they don't prove a thing, so challenge them or counter with your own.
- Overgeneralizations-make sure your opponent isn't using one isolated fact to support a sweeping conclusion.
- Unidentified terms and fuzzy language-pin down those words that can be interpreted however the other side wants to, and get them to commit.
- Ad hominem arguments-don't let them get you down; such personal attacks should only alert you to your opponent's lack of solid, rational arguments.
- Funny money-watch out for repetitive charges and small increments that can multiply over the entire deal.
- Profit definitions-calculating the actual numbers can take on surprising new meanings once the cold hard facts are identified.
Excerpted from Entrepreneur magazine, July 2001