The Ultimate Cheat Sheet you Need on Dealing With Competitive Tactics

In traditional win-lose position based negotiations, negotiators employ several manipulative tactics to maximise their interests while disregarding the other party’s interests. Learn how to recognize these tactics, avoid these tactics and neutralize them to keep negotiation on the principled track.

Have a look at the ultimate cheat sheet you need on dealing with competitive tactics:

 1. Good guy/Bad guy tactic

One member of the negotiating team plays rough and issues threats and ultimatums. Then someone else empathises to make you feel like he is on your side. The truth is that both of them are just trying to maximise their interests.

 How to deal: Concentrate on protecting your interests

 2. Making highball/lowball offers

This tactic is where the other party will try to take advantage by making a very high or low offer hoping to replace the benchmark you have with one in their favour.

How to deal: Be confident in your standards and expectations. Ask them to justify their extreme offers.

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 3. Nibbling

Nibbling usually happens towards the end of the negotiation process. After spending a lot of time negotiating, the other party agrees to the deal on the pretext that you agree to a small concession. Some negotiators give in to such demands as they fear that the deal may be called off if they do not accede.

How to deal: Invite the other party to surface all issues or concerns for discussion at the start of the negotiation. Continuously check in with them to see if they have anything more to add while progressing through the talks. By offering them constant opportunities, you should not feel guilty about rejecting the nibbles.

 4. Apply time pressure

This is a tactic where the other party creates a deadline that pressures you into a decision.

How to deal: Try asking questions to determine if the deadline is firm or real. If you judge that the deadline is real, think about whether extensions are possible and what are the consequences of going beyond the deadline.

We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?

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Topics: Managing Work