be prepared. do your homework. understand what the other side needs to close the deal. both sides need to get what they came to the table for. they need to come out ahead, and so do you.

be creative. provide innovative solutions to business problems.

keep your ego out of the deal. the process of negotiation is about compromise, and if ego gets in the way, it blocks your ability to compromise.

be very consistent. in sports marketing, you deal with the same people over and over. so if you do one deal a certain way, the next time you meet, the opponent will remember.

never bluff.

learn how to close. how to get to “yes” and finally put the deal to bed. it’s a feeling that grows out of experience.

don’t take everything your opponent says at face value. he may be trying to position you — or not. you need to know when he is being bottom-line. for example, as a batter you need to know which is the setup pitch and which one to hit.

try to be one step ahead. be more prepared than your opponent is. try to maintain an edge. i like to set the tone and make the first offer.

look to the future, not to the past. people try to make deals on what they made previously. i make deals on where the market is going, not where it’s been.