10 Dirty Negotiation Tactics and How to Beat Them

Learn to spot negotiation tactics that an opposite party uses to gain advantage at the expense of win-win agreements.
March 08, 2012

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 negotiation.

Here's how to spot 10 tactics that many negotiators use. These have nothing to do with the win-win successful agreements of a good negotiation. Learn what to do when somebody pulls these tricks. Awareness of these tactics can strengthen your own negotiation skills.

Left at the altar -

The other party feigns backing out of a deal just before you are ready to complete the agreement. Hoping the tactic brings the other party closer to their position, the tactic often yields 11th-hour concessions.

Your countermeasure: Don't fall for the bait. Let the deal drop and go through a quiet period. Try resurrecting the deal after no less than 30 days, or when the other party calls you. At that point, it will be your turn to get concessions.

 

Making balloon futures -

The other party forecasts future sales growth, which is accelerated from historic averages. This is similar to the "call-girl principle," in which a service is worth more before it's performed.

Your countermeasure: Base your decision or price only on past history. Make future bonuses or payouts available if accelerated growth actually happens.

 

Calling a higher authority -

The other party says that they are unable to make a final decision or won't tell you who the final decision maker is.

Your countermeasure: Stop negotiating until you are discussing directly with that decision maker. You are wasting your time and energy.

 

Crunch time -

The other party applies a lot of pressure by saying, "that's nonsense, you have to do much better than that."

Your countermeasure: Use the "flinch" tactic, showing shock and amazement that this issue has been raised. Repeat the offer you just made.

 

Bring in the dancer -

This is when a member of the other party talks for a long time without saying anything substantive to the real issues. This is usually intended as a distraction. This can also be a snow job, bringing in unnecessary data to support the other party's position.

Your countermeasure: Ask, "specifically, what does this have to do with what we are talking about?" Repeat several more times if necessary.

 

Re-trading the deal -

The opposite party attempts to reopen points from the negotiation after agreement has been reached. This is also called "forgotten issue."

Your countermeasure: Simply say no. Call them out for breaking the agreement. This may become "left at the altar" (#1).

 

Huntley and Brinkley -

Two people for the other party team up against you at the same time.

Your countermeasure: If you can't handle the pressure, get someone to join you or ask to negotiate with only one person at a time.

 

Turning Soviet -

A really mean negotiator that doesn't care if the your side gets anything out of the deal. This is the opposite of win-win.

Your countermeasure: Ask for someone else to negotiate with and don't start again until your request is granted.

 

The walkout -

Deliberately walking out of a negotiation to show disinterest.

Your countermeasure: Let them walk out. If they do not come back, leave. Do not call them for a month.

 

Roaring brains -

These are people that talk a lot with no real experience in a particular area.

Your countermeasure: Do the research so you have the facts to question their experience and data.

A few more negotiation tactics for women are useful to add to your arsenal.

What dirty tactics have you experienced and what did you do about it?

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