Practice…Timing…and Discipline – The Essentials for Success

How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice … Practice … Practice! What is the most important thing about comedy? … Timing! Using tactics in negotiation to optimize results requires practice and timing.


The Wince, the Red Herring, Good Guy-Bad Guy, Limited Authority, False Deadlines, Trial Balloons, and a host of other commonly used negotiation tactics are skills techniques. The way to perfect and preserve negotiation skills is to practice, practice, practice.

Where to practice? When working to develop the use of any particular negotiation tactics, it is essential that we practice the tactic until we are comfortable with its use.

It is rarely productive to practice during our most important transactions. We develop our tactical acumen by practicing on things that are not terribly important. Practice at the airport ticket counter, practice at the hotel registration desk, practice at the high school rummage sale, or practice at the local thrift store.

Take twenty $1 bills and be on the lookout for a swap meet, a flea market, or a rummage sale. It is fun to haggle a good deal on an old Hawaiian shirt or a desk lamp … and, it is great practice!

Get your “Licks” down on the small things and then you will find your conditioned response, tactical skills are ready and available when you engage in the give and take on the big deals.


The “Dual Vision” strategy discussed in other Negotiate Like the Pros™ articles is finally implemented by using tactical techniques. It may turn out in the best deals that little or no tactics are necessary.

However, when tactics are necessary to bridge the gap in the positions between parties, it is essential that we use the necessary tactics at the right time.

As a rule, you should put off using tactics until we have developed clearly defined strategic objectives … measures of success.

Only when positions are finely revealed does tactical negotiation become relevant. This is when our practice can really pay off!


Implementing a personal schedule to practice negotiation techniques is not easy. Especially as it relates to our business transactions.

Over the last ten years, our Negotiate Like the Pros™ organization has tested numerous coaching approaches. Here is our most current regime:

An initial one day seminar to learn and review strategic and tactical concepts of negotiation. We use role-playing and audience participation liberally. We establish a practice schedule working on one tactic a week for 8-10 weeks.
Next, we schedule a meeting for approximately one half day within 60 days of our initial seminar. We review our experiences in tactical practice and then identify our three most difficult challenges. We develop a game plan to meet these challenges and then go back to work.
Another 30-day follow-up meeting is scheduled to review results. Usually our most difficult challenges are by then approachable and manageable. We can then identify our two or three most attractive business opportunities.
A similar game plan is developed. In our final 30-day meeting, we review our experiences and compare our results.
The four-month period described is followed up by toll free telephone consultation through the end of a total one-year period. The results have been phenomenal!
Our Results Plus™ has really allowed us to substantially impact organizations and individuals who want to achieve dramatic returns on their training dollars.

Negotiate Like the Pros™ is constantly on the lookout for leading organizations that are looking for real results.

Perhaps your organization could be next?

John Patrick Dolan, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist Criminal Law, CSP, CPAE is a recognized expert in the field of negotiation. He travels throughout the world presenting lively keynote speeches and in-depth training programs for business and legal professionals. Call 1-800-859-0888 for more information.


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