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Negotiation Tactics

NegotiationPlanHardball Negotiation Tactics- Win/Lose

Going into the negotiation by being extremely demanding and offering concessions very slowly to wear down the other party and making minor concessions after lengthy negotiations. The negotiating party is using an aggressive style of negotiation which may not be suitable for the type of outcomes required. This type of opening offer should only be used if a relationship is not important to both parties. It is more appropriate to have a walk away position in mind and go in with a more realistic opening offer.

Power to Negotiate. Your opponent may say that they need to refer the final decision up the chain, this could be a stalling technique, for them to come back to put pressure to say a decision will not be signed off by the person with authority to sign off a negotiation. If this happens request to negotiate with the more senior party who can make the final decision.

Take-it-or-leave-it negotiation strategy. This should be a very last resort because if it’s used early on, then there is no room for manoeuvre. Committing to this type of negotiation means you are putting yourself in a position where things become non-negotiable and no contract should be non-negotiable unless there is no value to signing the contract. If an offer is made and this is not acceptable, make a counteroffer until you can nail down to your best alternative and final offer.

Making concessions too early. You have made an offer and your counterpart wants a concession on the offer you made. Don’t lower your offer before they come back with a counteroffer, otherwise, you will be losing your bargaining chips and making it easier for the other party to make a lower counter offer with minimum effort.

 Demanding more and more.  Some opponents will use an aggressive tactic where they make difficult and demanding requirements that get longer and longer. They want to make it appear impossible to get agreement and want you to fold by conceding to most of their requirements. Counteract this by stating that you will only negotiate on reciprocal exchanges.

Making it personal. Hopefully negotiations never get personal. If you feel uncomfortable let the other party know why you feel their behaviour has crossed the line and explain that they need to keep a professional negotiating position.

 Massaging the truth.  How do you know if things are exaggerated or if the other party is being light on the truth? You can’t but go with your gut instinct, probe, question and test.

Making threats.  Making threats should be done with caution. Can the other party carry out their threats? Ignore it and see what happens, they could just be bluffing and if there is a corresponding fall out then you can offer concessions to get the talks back on track.

Ignoring your counteroffer. The other party might try to ignore your counter offer but be persistent.

Good cop, bad cop.Most negotiating teams will do a good cop bad cop routine. Read between the lines to decide whether if the final offer is the best one you can get.


Negotiation Tactics for playing nice.

Partnership Negotiation Win/ Win

In this type of negotiation work with the other party to develop expectations about the type of deal, we expect to receive. In your mind have an ideal outcome.

Use emotions to set the scene. They will be looking at your response to their opening offer and subconsciously will lower their expectations if they don’t believe it’s achievable. In the spirit of a partnership be warm and welcome but don’t act to agreeable as this might set the expectation that they can ask for more concessions.

When making a big concession, know what you want in return. Have an idea which ones you are willing to trade and whether if this trade is perceived as a big win by the other party.

One common negotiation mistake that sabotages a win-win situation is to escalate expectations by making a steep concession that could lead the other side to expect another.

Delay making an agreement. If the other party thinks it was too easy to get the agreement they will start to think they got a bad deal that they should have asked for more.

Perceptions of Your Outcome

What is a good outcome for the other party?

Both sides will form a perception. A party might sound like they have onerous requirements that initially you might disagree with, however, when you drill down to why the other party wants something, it might make sense, drill down to the “why” to find options for compromise.

Negotiation Experience

Negotiate in good faith. Research has shown that people prefer to conduct a negotiation that is fair even if it’s unfavourable for them. Even if you are in a position of power, both parties need to be happy to get the right results.

Match negotiators using the right level of seniority and experience of conducting negotiations.

I hope the negotiation tactics have been useful if you want to work with me, I provider retainer and consultancy services


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