hard bargaining tactics
What are Hard Bargaining Tactics?
Many professional negotiators recommend hard-bargaining tactics. But truly great negotiators recognize that approach may leave significant money on the table.
Some negotiators seem to believe that hard-bargaining tactics are the key to success. They resort to threats, extreme demands, and even unethical behavior to try to get the upper hand in a negotiation.
In fact, negotiators who fall back on hard-bargaining strategies in negotiation are typically betraying a lack of understanding about the gains that can be achieved in most business negotiations.
Negotiators often come to the table with the assumption that the pie of resources is fixed. The mythical-fixed-pie mindset leads us to view most competitive situations as purely win-lose. When we move beyond the fixed-pie mindset, we avoid the need to make costly compromises by capitalizing on what each party values most. Great negotiators understand that the more issues they add to the negotiation, the more money they are likely to make.
To prevent your negotiation from disintegrating into hard-bargaining tactics, you first need to make a commitment not to engage in these tactics yourself. Remember that there are typically better ways of meeting your goals, such as building trust, asking lots of questions, and exploring differences.
Extreme demands followed up by small, slow concessions is perhaps the most common of all hard-bargaining tactics. This protects dealmakers from making concessions too quickly. However, it can keep parties from making a deal and unnecessarily drag out business negotiations. To head off this tactic, have a clear sense of your own goals, best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA), and bottom line – and don’t be rattled by an aggressive opponent.
To learn more and discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table, download this free special report, BATNA Basics: Boost Your Power at the Bargaining Table, from Harvard Law School.
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