There are four big rules to follow when you negotiate – on the ice and in business.
- Don't Commit First - get the other side to state their position or proposal first, you may be pleasantly surprised at what they want.
- Put Your Ego Aside - Negotiations are about getting a deal done, so don't try to impress the other side One tactic I use is to get the other side to help me during the process, asking questions that make them feel superior, such as "I'm not really sure, what do you think?"
- Keep Your Eye on the Puck – Everyone will try to get you off your game. No matter what the outcome of a meeting or phone call, don't let the other side's moves or reactions take your eye off the puck.
- Always Make the Other Side Feel Victorious - When the deal is done, always congratulate the other side. "Thank you, but please let me say that you did a fantastic job negotiating this deal" was a favorite phrase of mine.
“Neil Smith was able to do what no other general manager could in 54 years for the New York Rangers-win the Stanley Cup! It was Neil's bold approach to changing the culture that allowed the team to galvanize into champions.”