4 Dirty Negotiating Tricks (and How to Counter Them)

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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 d...


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 c...


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."


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?"



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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Negotiating without being a pushover


  • Frame the negotiations as a problem-solving challenge.
  • Take the time to make small talk. It’ll build connections you can leverage later on.
  • Stress t...

Emotional intelligence

It is the ability to manage our own emotions and react to the emotions of others.

People who exhibit emotional intelligence have the less obvious skills necessary to get ahead in life,...

5 key areas of emotional intelligence

  • Self-awareness: it involves knowing your own feelings. 
  • Self-management: it involves being able to keep your emotions in check when they become disruptive.
  • Motivation, for the sake of personal joy, curiosity or the satisfaction of being productive.
  • Empathy: the skill and practice of reading the emotions of others and responding appropriately.
  • Social skills: this can include finding common ground with others, managing others in a work environment and being persuasive.

Improving self-awareness

  • Keep a journal of your emotions. At the end of every day, write down what happened to you, how you felt, and how you dealt with it. 
  • Ask for input from people who know you well about where your strengths and weaknesses lie, to gauge your perception from another’s point of view.
  • Slow down (or meditate). The next time you have an emotional reaction to something, try to pause before you react.

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