Negotiating Tips , Negotiation Strategies , Business Negotiation September 22, 2010

Associates and Partners

John Donne wrote in 1624 the famous and often-quoted line: “no man is an island entire of itself. ...

John Donne wrote in 1624 the famous and often-quoted line: “no man is an island entire of itself...” Donne was discussing religious faith in the face of death, but the meaning has become universal: all of us have ties to other people.

In business negotiations, you are certainly not an island, nor should you try to be. Having outside associates and partners can help you:

  • Increase your bargaining power

  • Add legitimacy to your position

  • Shift perceptions the other party may have


Outside associates and partners are powerful assets to have. You will have partners in your field, or in allied fields. You may partner with companies that are located in or that service your area. You may choose partners who have specialized knowledge you don’t have.

Being able to rely on your associates and partners is essential and you will want to make sure you don’t have conflicts of interest. Use good judgment and keep ethical considerations in mind when choosing your partners, so you may fully leverage your association with them.

Some types of partners you may already have or need to cultivate are:

  • Technical partners

  • Financial partners

  • Political partners

  • Broad-line-of-service partners

  • Trade-association partners

  • Geographic partners

  • International partners

  • Reference partners (people willing to give references for you)


Do you rely on associations and partnerships to help you in your business negotiations? If so, how do you cultivate and maintain associations and partnerships?
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