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Begging For Scraps?

Just because you're the underdog doesn't mean you can't win.

This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

No matter how long you've been making deals, sometimes you find yourself up against opponents who have an edge over you. Maybe they've just been around longer, or perhaps this time you're playing on their turf. It can either intimidate you or exhilarate you. In either case, your skills only get stronger when you play with people who are better than you.

There are a few ways to come out ahead in this kind of situation. First, reassess the balance of power. The outcome of a negotiation never turns solely on deal-making skill. It has far more to do with need, greed, influence and persistence. So before you allow yourself to be intimidated, get a bird's-eye view of the battlefield. Your leverage may be much better than you thought-and knowing that will boost your self-confidence.

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