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Ask Yourself This

Pose some creative questions before the deal, and you may find a new way to clinch it.

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

Even though the business world thrives on vigorous innovation,entrepreneurs often overlook the creative side of deal-making. Howunfortunate! Creative thinking can pay the deal-maker bigdividends, both when you're first entertaining a deal, andlater, when you're actually negotiating it.

Initially, creativity will help with the most criticalconsideration of all: making sure you're in the right deal.Before you get too involved, you must discover and consider allyour alternatives. Start by asking yourself the ultimatebig-picture question: "Why am I doing this deal?" Onceyou really nail down the things you want, better ways to get themwill often jump out at you. Brainstorm with these two magic words:"How else?"

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