So sang rock musician Elvis Costello. And nothing creates fear like the prospect of a negotiation. People are fearful about negotiation for many reasons. They fear negotiation because of a lack of control, they fear losing, or maybe they fear that they will be outwitted and embarrassed by an aggressive party. Fear is a distressing…
Negotiating seems easy, but actually doing it can be hard. The biggest mistake that people make is to focus on their own position instead of trying to understand the interests or motivations of the other parties. As simple as it sounds, you need to focus on the other party and their interests (and not just…
From time to time negotiators are confronted with a negotiation that is deeply rooted in conflict. The cause of the conflict could be from old wounds from a battle long ago, it could be a struggle for power, or it could be a bias or prejudgment by one or more parties. Regardless, the conflict is…
Escalation is a dirty trick played when one party has leverage or when there is still money on the table. Essentially, escalation is when a deal is almost done and one of the parties reopens the negotiation with a demand for one more concession.
If you put your proposal or ideas in writing, people will find them to be more believable. A proposal or idea, when presented in a written document, demonstrates to the other party that you have carefully weighed the options and have come to a decision.
Another aggressive negotiation tactic or dirty trick that is played more often than you think is the intentional mistake. Usually it comes in the form of a proposal which has an error in your favor; it is a deliberate trick to get you to agree now. Examples could include a pricing error, the sales tax omitted, or a quantity mistake.
Ridiculous offers are made in a negotiation to create concessions or to get a negotiation started, yet they can sometimes stall or end the negotiation with one or more parties walking away angry. This is an aggressive negotiation tactic.
When negotiating, it best to wear your “game face”. People look at your face when negotiating to understand how you feel about things; make sure that your face tells the right story.
Maybe the most aggressive tactic for a negotiator to take is to say “take it or leave it”; this stance is cocky, unequivocal, and mean. Aggressive negotiators use this tactic because weaker negotiators give in and it works. Yet, many times it is just a bluff.
This tactic sends a strong signal that the aggressive party has a strong BATNA (i.e. other options if this agreement does not come together). At least that is what they want to believe. They will say things like, “This is the best I can do. You can take it or leave it”. Frequently, they will also have a short deadline for you to respond, which is yet another aggressive tactic. They will say, “I need your answer by 5 PM today”.
You submitted your proposal to your customer two weeks ago and reluctantly presented it with line-item detail like the bid required; you also submitted a package price. Finally, you sit down with the grim-faced buyer, who pronounces the pricing too high by citing lower line-item prices from the competition. “If want the business, you need to lower your prices,” declares the buyer. This is called cherry picking.