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Busted Bracket!

Published: Mar 25 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

Before the first game started I felt like my bracket was already busted! That’s how I feel every year before March Madness begins… someone talks me into a pool, I put down my money, I submit my bracket, and before the first tip off, I’m already the laughing stock of the pool. However, this year will be different because I sought expert advice from some people that know what they are talking about and you won’t believe how eerily close it sounded to our expert negotiation advice.

One & Two seeds to go deep

This year the experts are saying that this is one of the strongest groups of one and two seeds that we’ve seen in a while. Therefore, they will more than likely dominate the tournament and go deep into the tournament.

Apply to your negotiation: Same can be said about your most important negotiation issues. Your top priorities will more than likely persist throughout the negotiation and rarely will you trade them away or take them off the table. This goes for opponent’s top priorities too. It’s important to not only understand your priorities, but also that of your opponent. The sooner you know, the better chance you have in controlling your destiny.

Underdogs early, Big Dogs late

There will be a couple of lower seed teams that will be lucky this year (can you say ‘Anteaters’?). However, their upsets will happen early in the tournament. Once the tournament narrows to the second or third rounds, upsets will become less and less and the higher seeds will tend to dominate.

Apply to your negotiation: In looking at your negotiations issues, you can protect higher important issues with issues of lower importance. You could potentially trade lower priority issues in the early goings of the negotiation for things that are of higher priority to you. Allowing you to let the Underdog issues of your negotiation, protect the Big Dog issues.

Get in the smallest pool possible

If you are looking to make a splash stay away from the larger pools. Statistically, the more people in your pool, the less opportunity you will have to win your pool. So if you want to have more fun and maybe even walk away with prizes, stick to smaller pools where your odds will increase.

Apply to your negotiation: When there are a lot of people involved in a negotiation, it can get out of hand quickly. However, if you know who the key decision makers are and how decisions will be made, you can navigate your negotiation with ease and efficiency. This goes both ways. Make sure you know who has the authority to negotiate and make decisions on your side too. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck renegotiating something that you thought you had the authority to negotiate.

I took my new found knowledge and applied it to my bracket. As of now, every team I picked made it to the Sweet 16 - that’s never happened to me before! We’ll see how the rest of the tournament works out. Regardless, I think if you apply this simple bracket advice to your negotiations, you’ll find a better chance of improving your negotiation too.

Good luck on your bracket. Go March Madness!



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We’ve been consulting and teaching our proven negotiation methodology for over 40 years. We know the process, we can identify the skills required, and we have the techniques to negotiate better deals for you. Call us and let’s discuss what we might be able to do for you.

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About the author:

Brian Buck
Sure, we could whip up a snappy bio about Brian’s experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and Fortune 500 executive. While we’re at it, we could go on for an afternoon about his 20 years in marketing and advertising, developing brilliant consumer-engagement strategies for the likes of Google, Amazon, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft, and Sony. But knowing Brian, he’d rather we not. Instead, he’d likely ask us to focus on something else — namely, other people ...

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