My three 90/10 rules

June 7, 2014

In negotiations I like to remember and put into practice three 90/10 rules.

  1. Listen 90%, talk 10% of the time.    I covered this in my  active listening blog.
  2. 90% of the conversations in a negotiation won’t matter much.  10% will be critical.   So you can use this to manage the time spent on crtical issues.     Karass covers this rule well here.   The basic thought is you can use this to your advantage by using the 90% to avoid the big issues, thereby crunching the time for over negotiating the 10% you care about or are afraid to tackle.      It’s a time pressure tactic.

    90%/10% rules

    90%/10% rules

  3. 90% of the relationship/conversation with a client/opponent will be professional, easy, and quite enjoyable.   10% of the time you will be required to have a backbone, be tough, assert yourself, and perhaps even flinch!    Seriously, you have to draw the line in any relationship.   And like a dog….always happy, friendly, etc until you try to take their bowl away when they are eating..and they growl.    You need to do the same every once in a awhile.     If someone oversteps their bounds or tries to take advantage of you, you need to correct the behavior.   And do it quickly, decisively, with an edge…and reinforce that the person should never overstep that line again…ever.    Be a squeaky wheel.

These rules are all very helpful to know and practice in your negotiations!

Andy Cagnetta owns and operates Transworld Business Advisors.  He joined the company as a sales associate and later purchased it. Transworld is an international franchise business and franchise brokerage, with thousands of businesses for sale and franchisees in the United States and Internationally.

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