Kellogg (Northwestern University) Professor Jeanne Brett explains how she negotiated around an “emphatic no!” as she recounts her purchase of some pumpkins in France. Professor Brett was able to turn an emphatic no into a yes by “understanding her own interests and understanding the other party’s interests.”

While on sabbatical, she was tasked the assignment of finding pumpkins for a children’s Halloween Party. After “looking everywhere” for some suitable pumpkins, she finally found a farm stand and she started negotiating price with the woman attendant. They reached agreement, but then the woman killed the deal with an “emphatic no” after Professor Brett explained that she wanted the stand’s entire inventory so that all 32 children going to the party could carve his/her own pumpkin.

Watch how Ms. Brett was finally able to resolve the issue…