Negotiation Tactics

In negotiation, there are many tactics that you may meet or use. They can be fair, foul or something in between, depending on the competitive or collaborative style of the people involved and the seriousness of the outcomes.

  • All I’ve Got: Limit apparent availability.
  • Auction: Set sellers or buyers against one another.
  • Bad Publicity: Indicate bad publicity of not agreeing.
  • Behaviour Labeling: Saying what you will do.
  • Better Offer: indicate a better offer from the competition.
  • Better Than That: Just say ‘You’ll have to do better than that…’.
  • Biased Choice: Offering choices that already include your biases.
  • Big Fish: Show you’re the big fish and they could get eaten.
  • Bluff: Assert things that are not true.
  • Breaking it Off: Walking away from the negotiation.
  • Bribery: Do that and I’ll give you this.
  • Brooklyn Optician: price or negotiate each item.
  • Call Girl: Ask to be paid up front.
  • Cards on the Table: State your case, clearly and completely.
  • Change the Negotiator: New person can reset the rules.
  • Changing Standards: Change the benchmarks of good and bad.
  • Check the Facts: Bring up new information you have found.
  • Control the Agenda: And hence what is discussed.
  • Credentials: Show how clever you are.
  • Deadlines: Push them up against the wall of time.
  • Delays: Buying time and building tension.
  • Divide and Conquer: Get them arguing with one another.
  • Doomsday: paint an overly black picture.
  • Double Agent: Get one of their people on your side.
  • Dry Well: Show you’ve nothing left to exchange.
  • Empty Pockets: say you can’t afford it, don’t have it, etc.
  • Empty Promises: Make promises that you know you will not keep.
  • Escalating Demand: the more you get the more you require.
  • Expanding the Pie: Ensuring there’s more for everyone.
  • Fair Criteria: Set decisions criteria such that is is perceived as fair.
  • False Deadline: Time limitation on their action.
  • Faking: Letting them believe something about you that is not true.
  • Fame: Appeal to their need for esteem from others.
  • Flattery: Make them look good and then ask for concession.
  • Forced Choice: Subtly nudging them toward your choice.
  • Funny Money: Financial games, percentages, increments, etc.
  • Fragmentation: Breaking big things into lots of little things.
  • Go For A Walk: Take time out to change.
  • Good Guy/Bad Guy: Hurt and rescue by people.
  • Highball: Sellers–start high and you can always go down.
  • Hire an Expert: Get an expert negotiator or subject expert on your team.
  • Incremental Conversion: Persuade one person at a time. Then use them as allies.
  • Interim Trade: Make an exchange during negotiation that will not get into the final contract.
  • Invoke Rules: Bring up standards they should follow.
  • Lawyer: use survey results, facts, logic, leading question.
  • Leaking: Let them find out ‘secret’ information.
  • Linking: Connect benefit and cost, strong and weak.
  • Log-rolling: Concede on low-priority items.
  • Lowball: Buyers–start low and you can always go up.
  • Make a Mountain out of a Molehill: Amplify small things.
  • Misleading Information: Lead them up the wrong path.
  • New Issue: Introduce a new key issue during the negotiation.
  • New player: Another person who wants what you have appears on the scene.
  • Nibbling: constant adding of small requirements.
  • No authority: refuse to agree because you are not allowed to.
  • Non-negotiable: Things that cannot be negotiated.
  • Not Happy: Say you’re not happy.
  • Overwhelm: Cover them in requests or information.
  • Padding: Make unimportant things ‘essential’ then concede them.
  • Phasing: Offer to phase in/out the unpleasant bits.
  • Plant: A ‘neutral’ person who is really working for you.
  • Play Dumb: Act stupid to avoid clever stuff.
  • Price Not Negotiable: So focus on other things.
  • Quivering quill: ask for concession just before signing.
  • Red herring: leave a false trail.
  • Russian Front: Two alternatives, one intimidating.
  • Reducing choice: Offering a limited set of options.
  • See you in court: Threatening to go to a higher or public forum.
  • Shotgun: Refusal to continue until a concession is gained.
  • Side Payments: Add a cash balance.
  • Slicing: Break one deal down into multiple smaller deals.
  • Split the difference: Offer to agree on a half-way position.
  • Take it or leave it: give only one option.
  • Trial balloon: Suggest a final solution and see if they bite.
  • Undiscussable: Things that cannot even be discussed.
  • War: Threaten extreme action.
  • Widows and orphans: show the effect on the weak and innocent.
  • Wince: repeat price loudly, then silence.

Source: Changing Minds

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