The Law of Finality says: No negotiation is ever final.

123rf13296826 largeIt often happens that once a negotiation is complete, one or both parties think of something or become aware of an issue that has not been satisfactorily resolved. Maybe circumstances change between the signing of the agreement and its implementation. In any case, one of the parties[quotesright] is not happy with the result of the negotiation. One party feels that he has “lost.” This is not acceptable if the two parties are anticipating negotiating and entering into further deals in the future.

The first corollary of the Law of Finality says: “If you are not happy with the existing agreement, ask to reopen the negotiation.”

Most people are reasonable. Most people want you to be happy with the terms agreed upon in a negotiation, especially if the terms are carried out over a long period of time. If you find that you are not happy with a particular term or condition, [quotesright]don’t be reluctant to go back[/quotesright] to the other person and ask for something different.

Think of reasons why it would be beneficial to the other person to make these changes. Don’t be afraid to [quotes]point out that you are not happy with this situation[/quotes] and you would like to change the agreement so that it is more fair and equitable to you.

The second corollary of the Law of Finality says: “Use zero-based thinking on a regular basis by asking yourself, ‘If I could negotiate this arrangement over again, would I agree to the same terms?’”

Be willing to examine your previous decisions objectively. Be prepared to ask yourself, “If I had not made this agreement, knowing what I now know, would I enter into it?” This ability to engage in zero-based thinking, to [quotesright]get your ego out of the way[/quotesright] and to look honestly and realistically at your ongoing situation, is the mark of the superior negotiator.

How you can apply this law immediately:

  1. Review your current situation and especially those ongoing arrangements with which you are dissatisfied in any way. Think about how you could reopen the negotiation and what sort of terms and conditions would be more satisfactory to you.
  2. Whenever you experience stress or unhappiness with the existing agreement, or whenever you feel that the other party is dissatisfied, take the initiative to revisit the agreement and find a way to make it more satisfying for both parties. Think long term.


Negotiating is a normal and natural part of life. You owe it to yourself to become very skilled at it. As in anything else, the key to excellence is for you to practice at every opportunity. Make it a game.

[quotesright]Ask for what you really want. [/quotesright] Ask for better prices, better terms, better conditions, better interest rates, and better everything. Realize that you can save yourself the equivalent of months and even years of hard work, by learning how to become an excellent negotiator on your own behalf. And you can if you think you can. You can if you just ask.