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Negotiating success and building your BATNA

Some people feel uncomfortable with negotiating. This is unfortunate. Good negotiation leads to better outcomes for all. A good negotiation is a form of good communication, where all parties express their key preferences. This creates a better platform for productive, long-term relationships. Focusing on your BATNA is the foundation of good negotiation and a productive, long-term relationship.

Think of a BATNA, or the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement as a portfolio of credible alternatives.  Imagine you needed a new refrigerator.  You have done some initial research and considered your budget.  Importantly, you and your decision team have already come together on your preferences to determine the benefits desired for the purchase.  We have discussed Definitive as a great solution to help with the negotiation.  So this BATNA approach fits nicely in the Definitive technology.

About the author: Jeff Hulett is a career banker, data scientist, behavioral economist, and choice architect. Jeff has held banking and consulting leadership roles at Wells Fargo, Citibank, KPMG, and IBM. Today, Jeff is an executive with the Definitive Companies. He teaches personal finance at James Madison University and provides personal finance seminars. Check out his new book -- Making Choices, Making Money: Your Guide to Making Confident Financial Decisions -- at


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