Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Negotiating Tip

Don't Argue

Negotiating is about finding solutions...Arguing is about trying to prove the other person wrong. We know that when negotiating turns into each party trying to prove the other one wrong, no progress gets made. Don't waste time arguing. If you disagree with something state your disagreement in a calm ,but assertive way. Don't demean the other person or get into a power struggle.

Be well,

James A. Gage

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Negotiating: The Golden Rule of Negotiating

Hello All:

I am asked almost on a daily basis if I could sum up in one rule the key to successful negotiating. Believe it or not it isn't some sort of code or algebra equation that you must figure out, or something that will take you years of negotiating experience to access.

Here it is: Rule 1
" Ask for everything, expect nothing, and you will be surprised what you will get!"

What's the worse they can say "No" right? Many people miss out on great deals because they are somehow afraid to ask for concessions or things.
I'll give you an example. When I was on a vacation with my family at Universal Studios, I went to guest services and asked if they would comp my family with "Fast Passes" for the rides at their theme park- guess what? They said YES!
You see, fast passes are used to get you past all the people waiting in line and automatically gets you to the front of the line without the wait. Universal not only charges you for admittance into the park, but if you want those valuable "Fast Passes" you have to pay another $20.00 per person! That would have translated to $120.00 extra for my family of 6 ! But since I was willing to ask for the comp, I got it for FREE!

So go out there and start asking! You will be surprised what you will receive.

Be well,

James A. Gage

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Negotiating: The Economy and Independent Arbitration

Hello All:

I thought I would post this article on my observations on the economy and how it pertains to our profession.

“With all the recent problems in the financial sector (especially in the banking sector), it’s getting easier to settle with the banks?” I’ve been hearing this type of question a lot lately. The past year or so has seen an avalanche of economic problems, beginning with the financial tsunami in the real estate market, the sub prime mortgage fiasco, the banking credit crunch, liquidity problems, the Fed shoring up the economy with multiple interest rate reductions, the bailout of Bear-Stearns (the fifth-largest investment banking firm on Wall Street), bailing out Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and so on.
It’s logical for consumers/businesses considering independent arbitration to wonder if all this grim news is “softening up” the credit card banks for better settlement deals. The answer is, well, “no and yes.” No, because overall, it’s really just “business-as-usual” in the settlement industry. I personally have seen no drastic changes in settlement practices as a consequence of recent economic problems faced by the banks. You have to remember that we’re talking about huge companies, and they do not change direction quickly or easily.

On the other hand, some creditors have softened up a little, so that’s the “yes” part of the answer. But it’s important to understand that the banking industry is not one big monolithic enterprise. Different creditors behave differently. So while some of the banks seem to be slightly easier to settle with lately, others have gone in the other direction and stiffened their resistance to losses. Generally, this all translates to somewhat lower settlement percentages with some banks, and somewhat higher percentages with others. So overall, nothing much has changed from my own perspective, where I deal day-in and day-out with a wide range of consumer debt obligations.

Bottom line: It’s still the same game as it ever was, and consumers should not count on “extra” help from the banks they’re trying to settle debts with. As time goes by, current economic conditions may yet have a deeper effect on settlement practices, but so far there has not been much of a noticeable difference

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Negotiating: Getting to Yes in Record Time; 4 Time Saving Tips in Negotiations

1. Separate the Relationship with the People from the Substance of the Deal
Be hard on the deal, soft on the people. See the deal from inside their shoes and
make your proposal consistent with their values.

2. Focus on shared values and interests, but not on the positions each side takes;
values define the deal!
Each side has multiple interests – be clear on yours, discover theirs

3. Are you stuck on an issue? Then brainstorm multiple options for mutual benefit.
Be creative, think outside the box, and identify shared interest and objectives.

4. Use objective criteria for decision making, strike a deal based on principle, not pressure, agree on fair standards and procedures, and frame issues as a collaborative quest.