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Communication Skills - Common Tactics of Negotiators

Communication skills: Common tactics of negotiators

What is negotiation?

Negotiation is a specialised form of communication that involves two or more groups, each acting in their own self-interest, and each recognising that, to achieve their own self-interest, they need to trade with others, and therefore, must be able to create and sustain a long term, mutually beneficial agreement.

In a business context, negotiation requires voluntary consent on all sides.

In order to do well in any situation you need the following three things:

  1. Knowledge of the principals involved
  2. A plan of action (a plan indicating exactly what you will do)
  3. Time for preparation (these are actions taken prior to the main-event, that allow you to effectively implement your plan)

During a negotiation, you are likely to hear the other side use some of the following tactics, in order to gain a free concession from your side.

So, before the event, it is important to perform all your preparation and planning.

"Performing all your preparation and planning", means working out exactly what you are going to say, if and when certain situations arise.

You may want to think about the following negotiation tactics, in order to decide:

  1. Whether you are able to utilise any of these tactics in your own proposition, to your own advantage.
  2. If you are on the receiving-end of any of these tactics, then what will be your response?

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Here are the negotiation tactics you need to prepare for:

1. The claim that their first offer is also their final offer. (I.e. That the Entry and exit points have the same value.)the other side says to you,
"Let us cut to the chase; I will give you only one price: Take it or leave it".

2. They suggest that you "split the difference".
E.g. If I think it is worth 100 and you think it is worth 150, then I say "Why not split the difference and call it 125?"

3. To appeal to Need
E.g. I say "Oh, come on please! I am broke. I really need your help on this one. Please give me a concession."

4. To appeal to your "better nature"
Eg "We are a charity helping orphaned children in Afghanistan. So would you donate it to us at cost price?"

5. Appeal to anger
This is when the other person becomes aggressive and suggests (though he does not use these exact words):
"If you don't give me a concession, I will become very angry!"

This is an attempt to unnerve you and make you feel so uncomfortable you say to yourself:
"Oh, to hell with it. Give him what he wants and let's get out of here!"

6. Appeal to friendship
This is an attempt to make you forget your purpose as a trader. He says something like the following:
"We've known each other for a long time now and I thought we were friends.
Can't you make an exception, just for me, in this one case
?"

7. Appeal to a higher authority
The person claims that he is not authorised to give concessions.
(Which may or may not be true)?

He she says:
"I would like to give you a concession; but that decision is not up to me. It is company policy and I have no power to go beyond what I have already said".

8. Appeal for a "loss leader"
The person says "We would like to try your company out to test your quality. We want to give you a trial but as a loss leader. If you give use a good price now, even at a loss, you can win our confidence and, in the future, you could more easily win a bigger order."

Before you get there, learn to deal with these tactics by preparing your response to them!

For more information about communications skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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