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September 9, 2010

Negotiating Tip: New Found Power

Hello Good Negotiators

Every negotiator has encountered a situation when they felt out of power and reasonable options. Situations where they seemed to be between that proverbial rock and a hard place.

Our first tendency in such cases is to yield or surrender. But wait, perhaps we can learn from others that there can often be a new found power that will help us win the day.

Negotiating Tip: New Found Power


Earl Nightengale once said, "In any situation, if you're not sure what to do, simply look at what others are doing and do the exact opposite." Going in the opposite direction can lead to creativity and opportunity.

Case in point:

In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt's presidential campaign hit a snag.

His staff had printed 3 million copies of a speech for widespread distribution. Included was a photo of Roosevelt.

The problem was that the photo was printed without permission of the photographer who 'owned' the image. If the photographer demanded a 'fee for use' of even a nominal amount per reproduction, it could amount to thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To discard the copies and reprint would be equally expensive.

Whichever way they turned, they had problems. (Sound familiar?)

Roosevelt's campaign manager devised a 'new found' solution. He sent a telegram to the photographer that read, "Planning to distribute three million copies of campaign speech with photographs. Excellent opportunity for photographers. How much are you willing to pay us to use your photographs? Respond immediately."

The photographer responded almost immediately via telegram.

"Appreciate opportunity, but can only afford $250."

While this may be a unique situation with an unusual happy solution, it does exemplify that different people value different things differently.

It also teaches us that going in the opposite direction can provide that new found power that we had been missing.

Good negotiators tend to see options that others tend to miss. How many opportunities are we missing in our day to day negotiations?

Do we need to think creatively and, more importantly, look in the opposite direction for solutions and that new found power?

KEEP Negotiating.

Licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker for over 35 years, John Hamilton is an author, national speaker and educator who specializes in the art of negotiation. His most popular workshop is, “Negotiating: What’s Mine Is Mine, What’s Yours Is Negotiable” John was the 2002 President of the International Real Estate Educators Association and conducts over 125 seminars annually to business, banking, auctioneer, manufacturer representatives and real estate Boards/Associations. John's book KEEP Negotiating has become a desktop favorite for active real estate agents everywhere For past 15 years he has presented training program nationwide on sales, negotiating and motivational topics. Visit for a free report entitled the Top 12 Mistakes Negotiators Make.

Updated Bio:

John Hamilton is a confirmed 'negotiating junkie' from a small country town in Western Pennsylvania. 

His negotiating experiences include real estate, commercial construction, private consulting and public service. 

John has conducted negotiating workshops in 49 of the 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces. 

His book, KEEP Negotiating, is a desk reference for good negotiators everywhere. 

The hallmark of John's programs is that they are rich in practical content and presented with a touch of energy and humor.

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