In a price negotiation, should you throw out the first number or not? If you think the answer is obvious, you may be in for a shock. Up until this week, I thought that negotiations experts agreed you should always let the other guys give the first offer.

I remember EXXON negotiations trainers defending this strategy at a workshop I took for women business owners years ago. In their minds, the starting number gave you insight into where the other side was coming from, and could even reveal that their estimation was in your favor. However, in talking to negotiations expert and author Dr. Robin Pinkley yesterday, I discovered there are some distinct advantages to your putting the first number on the table. In fact, she stated that studies on negotiations show the final settlement is most often closer to the initial number than the first counter offer.

Surprised? To learn more about compensation negotiations, I recommend you read Robin’s book, “Get Paid What You’re Worth.”