3. Don't talk too much.
It's true what they say about having two ears and one mouth, especially in negotiating. Sometimes less is more, Lemonis said, and the more you talk, the more opportunities there are to trip yourself up. "Listen to what their hot buttons are. It's a little like playing chess. In order for you to make your next move you have to truly understand what their move was. And if all you're doing is talking you're never gonna understand the next move."
4. Don't assume that the first offer is the worst offer.
It may seem counterintuitive, but for Lemonis, his first offer is his best offer. "It's better to assume that people are genuine in their first offer. I like to negotiate and sit down with people and have them really feel like I put a lot of thought and a lot of foresight into what I'm offering them. And when I make that offer I give them the rationale and the reasoning for my offer."
He finds the pushback on the first offer annoying, although he concedes that there are times the other party has figures or analysis he wasn't aware of or didn't consider, but says most cases is just arguing for argument's sake, because it's expected in negotiating.
Two subtips: Think through what the other person really offered before you respond, and make sure you react with facts and figures that support your position, not just to defuse or defeat their position.
5. Never misrepresent the facts.
This is the most important tip when negotiating with Lemonis. "The worst thing you can do in a negotiation, and I see people do this all the time, is to withhold information," he said. The truth always comes out, and with it the deal crumbles or must be renegotiated.
With Key West Key Lime Pie, it comes back to not being forthcoming about the crust. "They thought that the pomp and circumstance of Key West and Key limes was gonna make a difference. But in the end the product is the only thing that matters."
The company showed what not to do when negotiating with Lemonis in particular.