Stuck between manufacturer and customer

By — on / Daily, Negotiation Skills

The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises.  Software Return is a two-party negotiation between a customer and a returns clerk about the return of a defective software package.

Scenario: The complaints clerk in a retail software store sees a customer approaching, carrying a software package (without the box) that the store sold at a special price last week. The software cannot be returned to the manufacturer under these circumstances. The clerk has already exceeded their weekly returns budget. The customer has been unable to get the software package to work.

Major Lessons:

  • The scenario makes it very easy to slip into an unprofitable negative mode of negotiation, based almost entirely on reaction. Unsatisfactory outcomes almost always result.
  • Those parties willing to consider the perceptions and interests of the other party as relevant can usually engage in mutually beneficial joint problem-solving.
  • The persuasive effects of threats, cajoling, anger, helplessness, looking pathetic, and other techniques can be explored.

To purchase a copy of this role simulation, click here.

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