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Firms should use 'positional power' during business negotiations

Businesses can use an asset to get what they want

05 October 2010

Companies should take advantage of their positional power to take the upper hand in business negotiations, according to an expert.

A negotiator is said to have positional power if they possess something that the other side wants, such as information or a particular asset.

Gregg Williams, a negotiation advisor, wrote on "When you recognize that you have power, you can suggest or demand, depending on the situation, that a proposal that you've put forth be met, or concessions be made to oblige your position.

"Be cautious as to how you flaunt your power, because it shifts throughout the negotiation and once you lose it, you may fall prey to its use by the other negotiator."

Mr Williams advised businesses to be aware of when the other side uses positional power as they may try and use "bullying tactics".

Negotiators should look to talk to another representative of the firm if they feel they are being unreasonable, he added. 

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