Develop a Negotiation Strategy – A Mediation Tactic

When all pre-mediation work has been completed, it is important for the attorney and client to have a common agreement of what their strategy will be for negotiation at the time of the mediation. This preparation should include knowing what the starting point will be for negotiations, discussing possible hypotheticals, recognizing the need for alternatives and the ability to be patient with the mediation process. Developing this plan for negotiation will allow the parties to better perform the “dance” that occurs in mediation for an eventual settlement that all sides can agree on.

Opening Positions for Negotiation

One of the best ways to realize success at mediation is to be sure that the opening positions by the respective parties fit within a reasonable range. If the case has any length of litigation history, there has been a recognition and acknowledgment by both sides of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. If all evaluation is completed, the potential range of case value can be determined for purposes of settlement. Therefore, it is essential that opening positions or numbers should carry some credibility reflecting realistic case value. An opening number that is reasonable will establish good faith in resolving the case at mediation.

Oftentimes, demands and offers are received as unreasonable or offensive. This will only initiate a counter reply from the other side of an equally offensive nature. At this point, further negotiations will likely harden positions. Before presenting your opening number, be sure to have an arrangement with your client that the amount is within a reasonable zone of acceptability so not to be offensive. This will insure that you will not be sending the wrong signal of an insult to the other side.

Discussion with the mediator can be helpful in establishing the opening positions. The mediator may have had the opportunity of communications with the other side in order to get a feel for the potential ballpark range for case resolution. The mediation negotiation does not need to be short circuited by unreasonable, unrealistic or insulting opening numbers. The mediator can be helpful in giving guidance of where to start. Begin the negotiation dance by sending the message of good faith without having your client feel short-changed from the onset.

Pre-Play Potential Negotiation Hypotheticals

We all know that a negotiation rarely goes down the same predictable path. As a result, the attorney should get the client ready to know that the negotiation could take unexpected turns. In order to better equip the client for these possible curve balls, take time to educate the client how this could play out under multiple scenarios. This will give the client a better appreciation of how concessions can be made, compromises reached and alternatives presented so to keep the dialogue open, candid and productive. If a client goes to mediation and all of a sudden feels that the other side has presented something unexpected, the client may pull back becoming unwilling to further negotiate wishing instead to withdraw from the mediation. Presenting potential hypotheticals of how the mediation can play out will make it easier for the client to participate without becoming discouraged.

Another advantage of pre-playing hypotheticals is that it allows the attorney to demonstrate how to respond to offers and demands. In essence, you give the client a chance to role play the negotiation using imaginary formulas without the possible stress of a mediation setting. From this type of role playing the attorney gains by doing a rehearsal of sorts with the client to find options for the bottom line. The possible increment adjustments of numbers or likely concessions to be made will already be presented to the client in this imaginary setting allowing the attorney to get a sense of the client’s approval or disapproval for give and take tactics.

Plan for Alternatives in the Negotiation

When the going gets rather rough in the settlement discussions, it is always good to have developed alternatives in your strategy or have some alternate angles to follow. This can be described as your “BATNA” or Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement as discussed by the authors Roger Fisher and William Ury in their book “Getting to Yes”. Your BATNA can be used as an alternative when at one time earlier you might have considered it to be unavailable or unwilling to approach. However, due to changes in circumstances, you are placing the BATNA on the table as a possible option. The BATNA can allow for flexibility and imagination in negotiations. BATNAs can take the negotiations outside the box for more creativity. The intended purpose is to keep the negotiation process going. Considerable work and effort has been expended and there is no reason to get discouraged and walk away.

Stalemates, impasses and roadblocks are often encountered in the negotiation dance. Then what? If the BATNA does not resolve the gridlock, many times “what ifs” can unclog the blockage. For a case that relates strictly to the payment of money, this idea can often be characterized as “bracketing”. Here you are merely offering suggestions for the other side to consider. For example, “what if we go to (fill in the blank), will you go to (fill in the blank)?” or “if we are willing to do (again fill in the blank), are you willing to do (fill in the blank)?” The “what ifs” are used to test parameters of each side and find how much one is willing to bend in respect to the other. There is no commitment to the suggestion until everyone agrees and moves simultaneously. Using the word “if” allows for reflection and gives the chance to create options by modifying what was offered. All along, the intended purpose is to relieve the congestion of the negotiation and continue to work towards resolution.

Patient, Persistence and Perseverance

The negotiation dance can test one’s patience and require the need for persistence and perseverance. The so-called “three P’s” are critical for maintaining the negotiation dance. The attorney may have to remind the client throughout the course of the mediation that patience is necessary in order to continue to be persistent and persevere. Using the “three P’s” as part of your approach will help extend the dance so that the client is not inclined to surrender quickly. If the parties have presented opening positions that are characterized as reasonable and realistic, you will likely have already hurdled into the arena where persistence and perseverance become vital states of mind for the negotiation.

The client, along with the attorney, need to be on the same page with their strategy so that they both can endure the process. If the attorney and the client do not have a common view of the amount of time that it will take for the negotiation dance to complete a settlement agreement, there is very little likelihood that the parties will realize the desired result. Mediators are trained to be patient with the process and to allow the negotiation dance to develop. The mediator will consistently try to discourage the parties from walking away from the negotiation if there is even a slight signal or glimmer of continued movement. Therefore, it is likely in the mediation that the parties will hear the mediator reference patience, perseverance and persistence resisting efforts by some to speed things along. In effect, you need to allow the negotiation dance to proceed even if you believe the music is going too slow.


The negotiation dance can be cut short if the parties do not have an adequate plan developed prior to the mediation. Be sure that the attorney and client are on the same page with regard to opening positions that are realistic and not taken as an offense by the other side. As the negotiation proceeds, expect the unexpected. To prepare for the unusual, the parties should have alternatives ready to continue the negotiation. If your BATNA does not resolve an impasse, consider possible options that allow for some reflection before commitment. Finally, keep the end target in mind when trying to arrive at success in mediation by using patience, persistence and perseverance. With all the work that has gone into the case, there is no reason to pull the plug on the negotiation dance preventing a likely resolution from occurring.

How To Protect Yourself Against Info-Product Launches

Even for those of us who have been dabbling in the Internet marketing arena for a decade or more, all these latest frenzied “Info-Product Launches” are downright scary. In recent months it is not only the product launches themselves that have become a little frightening, but also the rate at which these product launches keep bombarding all of us in the marketing world. It has become so relentless you feel like you’re an extra, ducking for cover in some war movie; Saving Private Ryan comes quickly to mind.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, you might get hit with one or two really major launches in a year. Now it seems like we are getting two or three a week. Those actively looking for good, solid marketing information will be totally drenched in the latest “How To” ebooks, videos and courses. Plus, throw in all those debuting membership sites, seminars, and private coaching sessions and even seasoned marketers are in serious danger of getting “Info Product Launch Burn-out.”

For the beginning wannabe online marketer it is a virtual mind field. One misstep and you can wake up, scratching your head: did I actually pay that much for a marketing product I can barely understand, let alone put into practice. Don’t get fooled by all the promises of instant wealth or quick riches. If getting rich was as easy as 123… we would all be sporting Donald Trump hairdos.

To make matters worst, all the latest marketing trends seem to be promoting the laziest ways possible to make a quick killing on the Internet. With this simple marketing tactic or that SEO trick, even the dimmest light bulb on the planet can have roaring online success without even breaking into a sweat or using up any of those precious brain cells. Heaven forbid.

The marketing hype has become so palpable and obnoxious it’s like a rich relative who won’t shut up about how much he’s earning while sitting in his pj’s and playing with his PDA.

“How I made 1 million in 52 minutes.” “How I made 100 grand with only a list of 45 subscribers…”

Who is to blame for all this “Info Product Feeding Frenzy”? Well we won’t mention names but these marketers are not shy about what they’re doing. Just the opposite, they brag and boast about how they can manipulate, control and whip prospective customers into such a buying frenzy just to see who can sell the largest amount of product in the shortest amount of time.

Some savvy and ruthless online marketers have turned this whole launch process into an art form, offering flashy videos with real valuable content in order to hook potential customers and capture their email contact information. The info-product launch flows out like a well-rehearsed opera:

  • Giving the specific date and countdown clock showing when the product goes live.
  • Incorporating a blog to keep everyone, including the search engines, informed.
  • Strictly limiting the product or buying time to increase demand.
  • Even manipulating you to buy the product before someone else beats you to it.
  • Having top-name JV partners whipping their devoted followers/subscribers with extra bonus offers.
  • Even enticing said affiliate partners with top prizes from ipods to sports cars.
  • Everything is in marketing sync for the big day.

Some of the top marketing pros and experts are now even offering courses on how to do exactly that: courses showing HOW you can warm up and psychologically cultivate a whole list of prospective buyers by giving away very valuable information in videos, reports and online calls… all to make that final sale.

There is nothing wrong with making a sale. There is nothing wrong with making a hundred sales, but there is something intrinsically wrong when you know in your heart of heart what you’re selling will never be used by half the people who are buying it.

How many of those sales are from naive or desperate buyers looking for a ‘quick fix’ or ‘easy ride’ to the good life? How many even if they have the money to buy your product will never have the will power and fortitude to carry out the marketing game plan in your product?

How many people are being fooled by all this marketing hype and rhetoric… how many will actually benefit from buying your product? Makes one wonder if that old saying is really true that in any gold rush, it is the people selling to the miners who make the most money.

All of these marketing products should not only come with an income disclaimer, which all the marketers prudently include, if only by some magical power we could see displayed on each product in big bold letters the tell-tell statistic: “How many buyers will actually read/view/use and ultimately benefit from the marketing info-product they have just purchased?”

That would be one statistic worth discovering. Of course, there’s no way of knowing, but one could argue this number is quite large. Otherwise, if you believe all the claims on these products, half the world would be Internet marketers and rolling in dough.

Online marketing is not easy. It can’t be done overnight. There is a learning curve and you must pay your dues. Be extra weary of any short cuts and anyone offering them. Magic formulas do exist and while buying the latest marketing product and information can definitely make the journey easier; always remember, no product can make that journey for you. No product or system can automatically make you rich. Don’t be fooled by flashy headlines, smart videos and the latest next big thing.

Nor can anyone say these info-products don’t have real value or merit. They do! They are of tremendous value to those who can benefit from them. If you’re marketing on the web and your sites/marketing are earning you $200-$300 a day or an hour — even just a small tidbit of information or advice can dramatically increase your income. Over time the amount paid for any info-product will be returned to you a hundred-fold. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the info-product itself; a marketer might mention a piece of software or program he/she uses in their work that when applied to your own can make a big difference in how much you earn. Been there, done that.

For everything is relative; even the large amounts charged for some of these seminars, coaching sessions or info-products can be justified if the buyer gets his money’s worth and then some. It all depends on the position/angle you’re coming from and how much the information impacts your online business, which will really determine if one benefits from a particular info-product or not.

So the next time you’re bombarded by the latest info-product by some of the world’s best online marketers… STOP, take a deep breath and step back from all the marketing hype and manipulation. Then honestly ask yourself: How can I use this information? Will I use this information? Perhaps, most importantly, can I really afford this product at this time or can it wait?

If you decide to buy, protect yourself by thoroughly checking out the marketer’s reputation beforehand. A money-back guarantee is only as good as the marketer’s word. If there is a payment option — take this route because you will lose less money if refunds are not honored.

Above all, if you’re buying the product because you believe it will solve all your problems and will virtually give you the path to the easy life, just remember this… you have to do some work. You have to put in some sweat equity. You have to do your own homework; no one else can do it for you. It doesn’t work that way. Sure some smart, successful marketer can sell you the answers, but you still have to write the test yourself.

Like most things in life, there are shortcuts; but you have to take them yourself in order to get to where you want to go. Online marketing is no different.

Debt Negotiation in Comparison to Debt Relief

There are many different types of people today in the situation of trying to pay off their debts and keep their heads above water and I want to explain two of the ways that people are using to relieve their debt burden which are Debt negotiation and debt relief. There are plenty of alternatives that are available to you in the situation so there is no need for you to start panic. Panicking is not going to do you any good. You are better off keeping calm and looking into the alternatives. Here is a brief synopsis of two of the available options which are debt negotiation and debt relief.

In the first option you will contact your lender and try to negotiate your debts to a more manageable level. This can be done either by yourself or by debt negotiations company representing you. You are trying to negotiate terms which will be more suitable to your circumstances at present. The banks or lenders are always going to want you to continue paying interest. Your primary aim is to not only the lower the amount of payments you are making but make sure that the money you are giving to the lenders is coming off the principal. The second purpose of the negotiation is to pay back less than what you originally borrowed. Either way you are looking for a situation where you are making things better for yourself. You can do the debt negotiations yourself or you can pass the task over to someone who is more qualified.