Effectively and efficiently gathering strategic information is a critical but often underutilized part of the negotiation preparation process. Here are my Top Ten Information-Gathering Tactics:
1. Leave your ego at the door
2. Be sincere
3. Establish trust
4. List your information needs
5. Do the “big schmooze”
6. Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions!
7. Use the Funnel – open- to close-ended questions
8. Actively listen and use the “power of silence”
9. Ask “why” – get to interests, not positions
10. Evaluate and use nonverbals/body language
Use these tactics to help prepare for and negotiate your next significant negotiation. You won’t be disappointed.
For a comprehensive discussion of each, sign up for a free trial of my ExpertNegotiator Planning & Management Software to access the online version of my book, Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004).