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Don't let yourself get tangled in the other side's tricky talk.
July 1, 2001

When you negotiate a deal, you support your position in a variety of ways, basing your arguments on fairness, recognized authorities, precedents and industry standards-all legitimate options. But your opponents might use "fuzzy logic" to fly below your mental radar. Here are examples of what to watch out for and how to deal with them:

Diversion, repetition and evading questions are also part of the game. So make sure you're prepared-not only to defend but also to counter-attack. Have all the facts at your fingertips. Find out how the other side has done it before. Research the applicable industry's customs and practices regarding the deal at hand. Be ready to suggest objective standards, such as market value or what a court or expert would think is fair.

The parry and thrust of a negotiation requires significant mental stamina. You've got to keep your guard up if you don't want to get skewered.

A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, Marc Diener is the author of DealPower: 6 Foolproof Steps to Making Deals of Any Size.