How to Counter a Negotiator's Tactic (Part 2 of 2)

Do you know when to walk away while a negotiator uses a tactic against you. Learn how to recognise what the other party might use against you and how to counter any tactic.

Observing how some negotiators manage their negotiations can be a fascinating exercise. Before you start to read the following information, it is imperative to remind you that any method of persuasion that you use in a negotiation should be done so with integrity. It should never be use for your own personal gain or at the expense of others.

All forms of persuasion and influence should be used ethically. The application of these methods should form something of mutual value in any interaction.

8. The trade off

Printer: "We've had a problem with those letter heads that you wanted to be delivered by the 20th. They will not be ready before the 30th. I'm very sorry, but I have done everything possible. I hope this is okay?"

The typical consumer will likely accept this excuse from a service provider. On the other hand, a skilled negotiator will view this as an opportunity to negotiate a concession. It stops a further process of "grinding down".

Manager: "Yes, that will cause a problem for me. We have a tight deadline. I'll have to see what I can do to extend those deadlines or to find a way around it. If I am able to come up with a work around, what will you do to ease my pain?"

Printer: "I'm not certain. What about if we were to print an extra 1000 copies at no cost?" (This "promise" could also be banked for future use).

9. Funny money

Sales person: "Well done! You've made a well informed decision. I'll draw up the terms of the lease. By the way, before I do, do you realize that for a mere $3 per day I could give you the deluxe model. It's a great deal. What do you think?"

Be very cautious here. You could find yourself placed in a position where you might end up spending thousands of pounds more than you intended. Negotiating with funny money works!

10. The walk away

When a negotiator has decided that they absolutely must have something, and they are going to significantly erode their power base as a consequence. Always keep in mind that there are no once-in-a-lifetime deals. Never become so emotionally involved that you are unable to walk away. Your actual power is very much dependent on your being prepared to walk away.

11. Delaying & stalling

If your counter party deliberately applies delaying tactics, it is crucial that you focus on the reasons behind the stall tactics and not their behaviour. Are they trying to wear you down so that you just give up, or is it because they are attempting to make you more pliable? Always remain emotionally detached and ensure you are not facing a deadline, especially one that is not self imposed. Counter these gambits by advising your counter party you know what they're up to and that it won't work. You might consider giving them a deadline that is well within your own ultimate deadline.

12. The precondition

This occurs when a negotiator acquires concessions simply by consenting to negotiate.

Purchaser: "If you let me have exclusive rights to market your product we can talk, but only then."

The untrained or inexperienced negotiator may readily become prey to this tactic by limiting their options even before the negotiations begin. This form of concession belongs in the bartering phase where a counter concession can be requested in turn. You can counter this tactic by setting the issue aside for a period and by just proceeding along with the negotiation.

13. Personal attacks

The use of a personal attack is often employed as a deliberate tactic to throw you off balance or to make you respond emotionally. Be very careful! It is essential that you always continue to stay emotionally detached and recognise it as a tactic. You can simply disrupt this gambit by smiling. Always remember to separate the people from the issues and the people from their behaviour. Another counter measure you could use would be to remind the other party that you had both decided to frame the negotiation as "agree-to-agree" and and that it is mutually beneficial to work towards a win more/win more outcome.

14. The withdrawn offer

This tactic can be employed during any time in the negotiation, particularly when your counter party is using the walk away tactic. This tactic can best be used as a bluff by suggesting or threatening to take away agreements that have already been made. "I regret to inform that my sales manager has just advised me that I misquoted the price. It is far too low. I'll have to withdraw the offer."

This could invoke a response such as: "I'm sorry, it's too late! We are accepting your offer!" The other party then reluctantly lets the item go. This consequence is that it leaves one party feeling that they have secured a good deal. A good counter measure you might use against this tactic is to walk away and test the validity of their position.

[ Part I ]      [ Part II ]

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