by Jennifer Nicole Dienst | October 01, 2007

IllustrationDoes the thought of haggling over room rates give you agita? Jim Camp, author of NO: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home (Crown Business), advocates stand-firm methods that turn the meek into the mighty.

Dare to decline. Too many people agree to unfavorable deals simply to avoid conflict. But a firm “no” can be the first step to getting what you want, Camp says. “No” is a starting point that lets the other side know you’re not a pushover.

Play it cool. The worst thing you can do during a negotiation is show emotion, Camp says. Besides clouding your decision making, emotions show the other side your weaknesses. Bottle your excitement or anger until you leave the room, and if you feel yourself getting hotheaded, excuse yourself for a few minutes.

Don’t blab. About your budget, that is. Some planners think revealing numbers up front speeds up the process, but Camp says spilling the beans is a big mistake. “You appear needy for the deal,” he says. “Once you demonstrate need, the other side attacks.”