10 Hard Bargaining Tactics

By on / BATNA

Don’t be caught unprepared by hard bargainers, warn Mnookin, Peppet, and Tulumello in Beyond Winning. Here is their Top 10 list of common tactics to watch out for:

1. Extreme claims followed up by small, slow concessions.

  • Don’t let a strong demand “anchor” your expectations. Be clear going in about your own demands, alternatives, and the bottom line – and don’t be rattled by an aggressive opponent.

2. Commitment tactics.

  • Your opponent may say that his hands are tied or that he has only limited discretion in negotiating. Make sure that these commitment tactics are real.

3. Take-it-or-leave-it offers.

When you make an offer, wait for a counteroffer before reducing your demands. Don’t bid against yourself.

4. Inviting unreciprocated offers.

  • When you make an offer, wait for a counteroffer before reducing your demands. Don’t bid against yourself.

5. Trying to make you flinch.

  • Your opponent keeps making demands, waiting for you to reach your breaking point. Don’t fall for it.

6. Personal insults and feather ruffling.

  • These personal attacks can feed on your insecurities and make you vulnerable. Grow a thick skin.

7. Bluffing, puffing, and lying.

  • Exaggerating and misrepresenting facts can throw you off guard. Be polite but skeptical.

8. Threats and warnings.

  • Recognizing threats and oblique warnings as the tactics they are can help you stand up to them.

9. Belittling your alternatives.

  • Have a firm sense of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) and don’t let your opponent shake your resolve.

10. Good cop, bad cop.

  • One of your opponents is reasonable; the other is tough. Realize that they are working together, and get your own bad cop if you need one.

Related Article: When Dealmaking Breaks Down, Take the High Road

Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a FREE copy of our BATNA Basics: Boost Your Power at the Bargaining Table special report from Harvard Law School.

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One Response to “10 Hard Bargaining Tactics”

  1. Márcia Rosa /

    I loved the article! I believe in negociation! Reply

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