A New York Times article about a proposed buyout of J. Crew mentioned that several potential suitors “have been studying J. Crew’s books.” Obviously, when deciding to potentially spend $3 billion, completing your due diligence is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, in other contexts negotiators frequently find it easy to skip the information gathering stage and start negotiating prematurely – often with disastrous results.
I mention this simply to remind you to always spend the time necessary to gather the information you need to set specific, aggressive and realistic goals and to design the best strategy to achieve them. That’s why my First Golden Rule of Negotiation is “Information is Power – So Get It!”