The 12 Fundamental Tactics of Negotiation, Part 2

As we have been discussing, the fundamental negotiation tactics must be memorized so you not only learn their applications, but also how to deflect a tactic when it is used against you. Here are the next three fundamental tactics:

4. GOOD GUY, BAD GUY
A team tactic featuring a friend and an adversary

With this tactic you have one team member who displays outrageous behavior toward the situation while the other party seems to remain neutral. After the Bad Guy displays outrageous behavior, the Good Guy steps in and woos you into believing he is on your side. Beware of the counterpart who suggests to you, "I’m on your side, or I am working for you." Suddenly you have someone negotiating for you who isn’t really on your side at all.

COUNTER TACTICS TO GOOD GUY, BAD GUY:

Ask: "You’re NOT going to play Good Guy/Bad Guy, are you?"
Ask: "Can you do this without (Bad Guy)?" If they are unable to help you themselves, then take a time-out until the person in authority is available.
Dismiss the Good Guy, and only deal with the person who is in authority.

5. RED HERRING
A false trail, leading away from the true issue

The Red Herring derives its name from the sport of fox hunting. Hunters participating unfairly would drag a dead fish across the path of the fox, diverting the dogs and sending them down a false trail. Skilled negotiators lead the unskilled away from the main issue by making a big deal out of insignificant issues.

COUNTER TACTICS TO THE RED HERRING:
Employ the set-aside tactic. Say to the counter party, "This seems to be a major issue. Why don’t we set this aside and establish agreement on the minor issues, then come back to this later?"

If there is hesitancy by the counterpart to set the issue aside ask, "Is this issue your only concern? Since you agree there are other issues, I promise we can reach a mutually beneficial resolution if we come back to this later, after we have come to an agreement on a few of the minor issues."

6. LIMITED AUTHORITY
A final agreement cannot be reached without a third party approval

Limited authority can be used twice in the negotiation process. In the beginning, when your counterpart may reveal he is in an information gathering stage and does not have the complete authority to render the final decision, and at the end. Limited Authority is more often used at the end of the negotiation. You have given the price or terms and it seems agreement has been reached until the counterpart says: "I need to run this by the committee, boss, wife, attorney, etc."

COUNTER TACTICS TO LIMITED AUTHORITY:
Rescheduling until all parties are available.
Gaining commitment by saying, "I understand, but you will recommend they accept, won’t you?" or "You can’t make this kind of decision?"

With Limited Authority as the negotiating tactic, the counterpart will now take your offer to the "nonexistent" committee and play good guy, bad guy. He’ll then return and say, "I’m so embarrassed. I felt certain they would go along, and if it were up to me, I would accept. But, this is all they would agree to." He now remains silent, waiting for a concession. COUNTER by withdrawing the offer. "Don’t be embarrassed. I’m relieved. After consideration, I’ve discovered it would be impossible to honor my original agreement." The other party will now defend his original agreement and you can play reluctant seller.

Check back soon for more fundamental tactics of negotiation…

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