Every business owner needs to learn how to negotiate. It’s important to recognize when tactics are being used in an attempt to best you in a negotiation.
Here’s how to spot 10 tactics that many negotiators use. These have nothing to do with the win-win successful agreements of a good negotiation. Learn what to do when somebody pulls these tricks. Awareness of these tactics can strengthen your own negotiation skills.
- Left at the altar – The other party feigns backing out of a deal just before you are ready to complete the agreement. Hoping the tactic brings the other party closer to their position, the tactic often yields 11th-hour concessions.Your countermeasure: Don’t fall for the bait. Let the deal drop and go through a quiet period. Try resurrecting the deal after no less than 30 days, or when the other party calls you. At that point, it will be your turn to get concessions.
- Making balloon futures – The other party forecasts future sales growth, which is accelerated from historic averages. This is similar to the “call-girl principle,” in which a service is worth more before it’s performed.Your countermeasure: Base your decision or price only on past history. Make future bonuses or payouts available if accelerated growth actually happens.
- Calling a higher authority – The other party says that they are unable to make a final decision or won’t tell you who the final decision maker is.Your countermeasure: Stop negotiating until you are discussing directly with that decision maker. You are wasting your time and energy.
- Crunch time – The other party applies a lot of pressure by saying, “that’s nonsense, you have to do much better than that.”Your countermeasure: Use the “flinch” tactic, showing shock and amazement that this issue has been raised. Repeat the offer you just made.
- Bring in the dancer – This is when a member of the other party talks for a long time without saying anything substantive to the real issues. This is usually intended as a distraction. This can also be a snow job, bringing in unnecessary data to support the other party’s position.Your countermeasure: Ask, “specifically, what does this have to do with what we are talking about?” Repeat several more times if necessary.
- Re-trading the deal – The opposite party attempts to reopen points from the negotiation after agreement has been reached. This is also called “forgotten issue.”Your countermeasure: Simply say no. Call them out for breaking the agreement. This may become “left at the altar” (#1).
- Huntley and Brinkley – Two people for the other party team up against you at the same time.Your countermeasure: If you can’t handle the pressure, get someone to join you or ask to negotiate with only one person at a time.
- Turning Soviet – A really mean negotiator that doesn’t care if the your side gets anything out of the deal. This is the opposite of win-win.Your countermeasure: Ask for someone else to negotiate with and don’t start again until your request is granted.
- The walkout – Deliberately walking out of a negotiation to show disinterest.Your countermeasure: Let them walk out. If they do not come back, leave. Do not call them for a month.
- Roaring brains – These are people that talk a lot with no real experience in a particular area.Your countermeasure: Do the research so you have the facts to question their experience and data.
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