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4 Dirty Negotiating Tricks (and How to Counter Them)



4 Dirty Negotiating Tricks (and How to Counter Them)
Even if you're hoping to reach a win-win agreement with your customer, there's always a chance that the customer will try to pull a fast one. Here are four common negotiating tricks and exactly how to counter them. 1. Pretending to have cold feet.


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Pretending to have cold feet

Pretending to have cold feet

Scenario: You've reached a verbal agreement, but in negotiating the final terms, the deal gets questioned. "We're not really sure that this is the right thing for us to do at this time."

The best strategy is probe further to see whether there's a real problem or whether you're just being yanked around.




Surfacing an unreasonable requirement

Surfacing an unreasonable requirement
Scenario: Working with a prospect to craft a deal and suddenly the customer demands something that makes no business sense. "We'll need you to stop doing business with our competitors if you're doing business with us."

Your best strategy is to call the customer's bluff.



Requesting a last minute discount

Requesting a last minute discount

Scenario: You're at the point of signing the contracts,when the prospect demands a steep discount. Example: "My boss says that if don't drop the price 25 percent, the deal is off."
The worst thing at this point is to give the discount, because then you've told the prospect you can't be trusted to offer the best deal.



Stretching out the process

Stretching out the process

Scenario: The sales opportunity is proceeding apace when suddenly all the important meetings are pushed way out. "I can't meet next Friday to discuss this; how about next month?"
Your best strategy is to surface some negative consequences of delaying the sale.




Successful Negotiation

The most successful negotiators don't entertain dirty tricks in negotiation but instead strive to reach agreements that are satisfactory to both parties.

But if you find yourself on...

Jet Lag

Used on negotiators who travel long distances: to start meetings while the negotiator's concentration is impeded due to jet lag or fatigue. Jet lag seriously impairs judgement. 

Tip for the negotiator: Travel early and leave time for recuperation before meeting the other party. Where you suspect your hosts like to be hospitable, keep news of your early arrival quiet. 

It's different over here

A dirty trick often used against people visiting other cultures.

The approach of "but we always do it this way over here" can be difficult to counter if you're not prepared for it.

Tip for the negotiator: If you suspect this approach in advance, have with you a local expert who knows the customs. 

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Negotiation tactics

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

10 tactics that strengthen your negotiation skills

  • Left at the altar - This tactic often yields 11th-hour concessions. 
  • Making balloon futures - A service is forecasted to be worth more before it's performed.
  • Calling a higher authority.
  • Crunch time - Where the other party applies pressure.
  • Bring in the dancer - Distracts by long talks without saying anything substantive to the issue at hand.
  • Re-trading the deal - Other party tries to reopen points from a closed agreement.
  • Huntley and Brinkley - Two people for the other party team up against you at the same time.
  • Turning Soviet -  Your side is not considered in the deal.
  • The walkout - Deliberately walking out of a negotiation to show disinterest.
  • Roaring brains - People that talk a lot with no real experience in a particular area.

Set multiple deadlines

A way to create less stressful deadlines is to break large projects into smaller tasks. Set a deadline for each task instead of just one final deadline. 

Regularly spacing the deadlin...

Yerkes-Dodson law

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that the more mental arousal there is in doing a task, the more efficient a person becomes. After you get to a certain threshold, your performance begins to decrease.

An appropriate quantity of stress should inspire increased productivity.

Your ideal stress level

Difficult tasks require low levels of stress, while easy tasks require high levels of stress to trigger mental arousal.

The next time you set a deadline, try placing a rush deadline for easier tasks and set your deadline far out for more difficult projects.