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8 Practical Negotiation Tips From McCombs Lecturer, Doug Dierking

McCombs lecturer Doug Dierking shares practical negotiation tips. Imagine an adult summer camp where, instead of playing games, participants learn invaluable tips from various academic experts. Beginning on June 17, former University of Texas at Austin students joined together for the three-day Texas Exes continuing education program. After breakfast and morning stretches, participants were ushered into the Alumni College to attend lectures from some of the University's top professors. From new technology to costume design, the talks encapsulated the vast amount of educational opportunities available on campus.

On the third day of the event, Doug Dierking delivered a lecture that every audience member could relate to. As the assistant department chair of Management and a senior lecturer at the McCombs School of Business, Dierking knows the value of negotiation skills. However, since this wasnt his normal business class, Dierking focused more on useful tips for everyday negotiation.

Here are the top eight takeaways from Dierking's practical negotiation lecture:

1) It doesn't hurt to ask.

Whether it's in a business meeting or asking for an extra cookie from your favorite lunch spot, you won't get anything that you don't ask for.


2) Set specific goals. 

Don't go into your first deal thinking you'll make millions — but also don't underestimate yourself. The key is to be optimistic yet realistic when setting goals.


3) Establish a relationship.

Everyone should feel comfortable before any type of business meeting begins. Start with small talk and get to know the people you're negotiating with on a more personal level. Building a relationship establishes trust, which can sometimes be even more valuable than the deal itself. 


4) Negotiate more than just the price.

Think beyond the monetary value of the deal. For example, what benefits are they offering? Is there a signing bonus? Don't let a number dictate the entire deal.


5) Be prepared.

Show up for the meeting knowing everything you possibly can about the deal. Being prepared establishes a level of professionalism, which will allow for a better negotiation.


6) Ask questions.

Even if you think you might already know the answer, ask the question anyway. This will make everything in the deal crystal clear for both sides.


7) Framing is key.

Frame the negotiation so that it's beneficial for both parties. Be sure to speak in a way that they'll appreciate and understand.


8) Don't have a power trip.

Using threats and aggressive language is never a good idea. If you aren't seeing eye-to-eye on something then simply take a short break and rehash the issue at a later time.



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