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Here's What I'm Thinking

You'll get your best deal if prospects see things your way.

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This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lyman Beecher, a famous 19th-century preacher, once called persuasion "logic on fire." To be a truly persuasive negotiator, you must be able to articulate good, solid reasons for the demands you make, as well as the demands you reject. As always, preparation is key. Here are a few ways to amp up your power of persuasion:

  • Have all the facts at your fingertips. Become fluent with the details of your deals.
  • Learn the lessons of history. Research the applicable industry's customs and practices, as well as how the other side has done things before. This is your opponent's frame of reference, and it will have a profound effect on how he or she reacts to your proposals.

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