Your negotiation opponent may have various interests that you are less likely to discover so easily. Such interests must stay hidden because discovering them can weaken their position during the negotiation. Therefore, I think that it is in your interest to find out more about them and open up the discussion directly. Direct questions and active listening will bring in a lot of interesting information. Some of these interests might include:
- Financial difficulties
- The pressure to seal a deal
- The will to eliminate the competition
- The febrile search for new customers
- Avoiding long term litigations
- The will to gain some reputation with an optimal result after the negotiation
Obviously, discovering these things upfront will strengthen you. For instance, when buying a home, knowing the fact that the seller has already purchased a different home can open a lot of doors for you. They obviously require quick money, so you earn a huge benefit during your negotiation. On a different note, you will end up with a positive result outside of a legal environment when you know that your opponent would do anything to avoid a long term litigation.