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Obtaining information normally not disclosed

Josh Chernin, Web Industries, United States of America
Negotiating often involves gathering information which the other party may be reluctant to provide. If you ask directly – for example, ‘How large are your revenues?’ – the answer will likely be: ‘We can’t share that with you’. If you offer a possible answer– for example, ‘So your revenues must be about $35 million?’ – you’ll get an answer, because the other
party doesn’t want to feel guilty about misleading or not correcting you. Their answer may be a specific number, a hint (‘A little higher, but you’re in the ballpark’) or simply a knowing smile, but you’ll get an answer.

Ironically, the further off your ‘guess’ is, the more likely you are to obtain a more specific response.

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