Tips for Negotiating with Competitive Counterparts

By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

In the previous blog, we identified the top ten characteristics of competitive negotiators. As a follow-up, here are three negotiation strategies to implement when your counterpart fits the profile of a competitive, hard-nosed, adversarial, ego driven, risk-taking, overtly controlling and always out to “win” negotiator.

1. Ask and Listen

Competitors love to talk and persuade.  Let them. In fact, encourage them and implement active listening techniques to acquire as much strategic information from them as you can before you start negotiating.

2. Stick to Your Principles

Because competitors appreciate strength, standing firm will gain their respect. Don’t allow them to steamroll you. If you do, they’ll come at you again and again. Instead, require a reasonable rationale before moving and insist on reciprocity.

3. Point Out Your Leverage

Competitors aren’t afraid to talk directly about leverage. If you have it, point it out matter-of-factly as you discuss both sides’ needs and alternatives.


Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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