$0.00 – $6.00
Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton
Two-party distributive negotiation over the sale of a rare automobile
Mr. Henry Soles, the wealthy owner of a 1927 custom-made Bentley convertible has hired an agent to sell his car. A corporation has made an offer. The only other likely buyer is Amelia Austin. Mrs. Austin has asked her personal secretary to make an offer for the Bentley. There is no current market price for this unique automobile, although there is some data on various Rolls Royce and other Bentley models. The two representatives are meeting to negotiate the purchase.
After preparation for as little as 5 minutes, this one-on-one negotiation should take 20-40 minutes depending on the skillfulness of the participants. Average review time is 20-40 minutes, or 60-75 minutes if two participants are asked to negotiate the case in front of class.
- Soles's Representative
- Amelia Austin's Agent
- All of the above
- This simple case was designed to explore positional bargaining in a classic situation where objective criteria are scarce. Techniques such as anchoring, asymptotic concessions, final offers, pleading lack of authority, low-balling, and so on, can usually be identified among participants' negotiation tactics.
- The case also highlights the importance of the fear of being taken, and the role objective criteria can play in handling that fear.
- The sparseness of the criteria, however, encourage their use as justifications for rigid positions rather than partial data about what might seem fair. This allows a discussion of how the difference manifests in practice and what its consequences are.
- The relationship of BATNA to bottom line is clearly raised.
- The differences between agent and principal interests, authority, and strategy are easily explored.
Anchoring; Authority; BATNA; Interests, quantifying; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Reservation price
Bentley Convertible Attributes
|30 minutes-1 hour
|Number of participants:
|Neutral third party present:
|Teaching notes available:
|Non-English version available:
|French, Portuguese, Greek, Spanish, German