Steven Babitsky, Esq.

One of the most important business skills that physicians will want to develop is their negotiating skills.

Successful physician negotiators effectively gather and use information and time deadlines when negotiating.

Here are 15 of these strategies and techniques:

Information Summary

  1. We want to determine the authority level of the person you are dealing with and, if possible, deal with the person with the most authority possible to avoid any “trickle down loss”.
  2. You want to ask open-ended questions to get as much information as possible. You can also use leading questions, suggestive questions, and “what if questions”.
  3. You use the 3 D’s to defer, deflect or delay answering questions you want to avoid.
  4. You phrase your questions
  5. You want to utilize active listening skills and hear what is being said, what is being omitted, and look for verbal leaks.
  6. You want to read your opponents and control your own body language.
  7. You want to determine and utilize your opponent’s needs, interests and desires, and
  8. You want to be liked by your opponent. 

Time Summary

  1. You want to negotiate when you are prepared, ready, not distracted, and when you least need the deal and your opponent’s need is greater.
  2. Watch out for ambush negotiations.
  3. Pause when you need to; consult with others; or sleep on it.
  4. Build in some acceptance time for new ideas or terms.
  5. Use deadlines effectively: set your opponent’s deadlines as short as possible.  Do not obsess about your own deadlines and seek an extension if you need one.
  6. Try and discuss your opponent’s true deadline as soon as possible.
  7. Use accelerated deadlines to buy yourself enough time to reduce pressure and deal with unforeseen circumstances.


Physicians who are prepared and use the press of time during negotiations are well positioned to be successful.

About the Author

Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the President of SEAK, Inc. and the co-trainer in the video course Negotiating Skills for Physicians: