Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dirty Tricks- strategies for negotiation

Read the book "Getting to Yes" on negotiation

Dirty Tricks (strategies) …with responses:

Black- Question/response from other party

Red- Your response to tricky question


What do we do when the other side…

1.  Goes beyond exaggeration and states as “fact” numbers or situations that you know or are pretty certain are simply untrue? 
Really! That’s a surprising figure/fact. In fact, it conflicts strongly with our own idea on that subject. Can you help me to understand the gap? I will of course need to be able to show my own colleagues how you get to that figure. (Objective criteria)

2.  Asks  “Don’t you trust me?”
It’s not a matter of trust! We need to keep things objective and verifiable, because it may not be you and me in this position next year. (Objective criteria)

3. Appears to reach agreement on everything and then, at the last minute, claims they need approval from someone else in his organization?
Really! In that case, we may have to start the whole process again with your superior, or whoever has the necessary authority to make this deal.
Note: if this is true, you failed to diagnose and shape the game properly; you were negotiating with the wrong person. Your task now is to step back, re-shape the game and insist that any stepping back by the other side from apparent agreement releases you from your part in that agreement, too (reciprocity). If this is not true and is simply a trick to demand more concessions, the task is the same.

4. Talks a very good game, but you feel very strongly that they do not intend to keep their part of the bargain, and you doubt their intentions?
Since you appear confident about your ability to do what you say, I can see no reason why we can’t make our agreement contingent on your doing just that.
Note: Compliance or contingency clauses will normally deal with these issues. You may also wonder why they are taking this line, what are their real interests (Objective criteria, Re-explore interests)

5. Plays psychological games eg with the environment (too hot, too cold, too bright, too dark)
I’m sorry, I’m just too hot/cold to concentrate. Can we meet somewhere else?
(Recognize and address, re-shape the game)

6. Makes personal attacks on you – verbal assaults, interrupting the negotiation for spurious reasons and keeping you waiting, attacking your status etc?
I’m puzzled by your approach. Why is that? If you really feel like that, I’m surprised that you are still in the room.
(Recognise and address, Step back and re-shape)

7. Plays good cop/bad cop?
Excuse me if I’m mistaken, but it seems that you two don’t seem to agree with each other on these matters. Would you like a time-out?
(Recognise and address)

8. Goes beyond warnings about consequences and makes naked threats?
It would be a shame if it came to that. I prefer to deal with issues on their merits.  Can we step back for a while and see how we ended up in this situation?
Note: If you respond to threats, your ability to negotiate in the future and your reputation will be seriously compromised. (Recognise and address, Step back and re-shape, Objective criteria)

9. Sticks rigidly to a position and refuses to negotiate further in the hope of claiming more concessions without reciprocal movement?
Can you tell me why you feel so strongly on this point? Maybe we need a break to re-assess the progress we have made so far.
(Step back and re-shape, Clarify interests)

10. Makes an extreme and unreasonable offer in order to secure a split-the-difference advantage?
That’s way out of line with what we had in mind. I’d like to know more about how you came to that figure. If it’s reasonable, we’ll have to re-think our own understanding of the issue.
(Objective criteria, Clarify interests)

11. Expresses strong intention to agree and then adds “one more thing”?
As we said before, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So, if you now want to add another item to the agenda, we will have to re-examine everything. Also, before we go on, are there any other issues at all that you are thinking of bringing to the table?
(Step back and re-shape the game)

12. Delays and delays and pushes you up against a hard deadline (often when you are booked on a long-haul flight)?
Note: This trick is evidence of a poor relationship or perhaps desperate tactics on the other side’s part – maybe their boss has demanded a better deal for them. In any event, it is a good idea where possible to have an open ticket that can be changed with little or no cost to you. If you don’t have this, you may have to fall back on:
I won’t make a bad agreement just to make a plane. Let’s re-schedule and, if you feel you are really ready to work towards an agreement, I’ll come with an open ticket next time. I will need to be sure that you want to make a deal, however.
(Recognise and address, Step back and re-shape the game, Clarify interests, Develop BATNA)

13. Says “Take it or leave it!”?
I came here to negotiate, not to respond to an ultimatum. It’s a pity, because there are many parts of this deal that are attractive to both sides. How about looking at this whole deal in a different way? Why don’t we take a completely fresh look at things to see where we can find other options? If you don’t feel open to that, I’ll definitely have to consider other alternatives.
(Recognize and address, Seek options, Develop BATNA)

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