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Negotiate to Win by Jim Thomas

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RULE 12 START SLOWLY.

Small Talk Is a Big Deal

Americans are usually good for about five seconds of small talk before getting down to business. Our typical flying start is something like, “Hi. Howsit goin’? Well, enough small talk. Are we gonna do this deal, or what?” This John Wayne–style kickoff misses a marvelous opportunity with at least three major benefits:

 

1. Power. Rule 9, Keep the climate positive, describes how we make more concessions to people we regard as friends. The small-talk period is the time to personalize yourself to the other side. Personalizing is an easy and inexpensive way to improve your bargaining position. The weaker you are, the more important it is to personalize yourself to your counterpart. ...

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