TOP 10 NEGOTIATION DIRTY TRICKS

 

1. Physical intimidation. 

Psychologically destabilise the other party by sitting close, leaning across the table, sitting in a bigger chair, positioning them with the sun in their eyes.

2. Sow a bad seed. 

Drop lots of hints about the strategic context or operational situation that isn't true, to structure expectations of the other party.

3. Deliberate misunderstanding.

Deliberately misinterpret a point to your advantage in the hope that the other party misses it or is too timid to correct them e.g. incorrect summary.

4. The vow of silence.

Refuse to give any information or explain any statement/proposal that you make.

5. Giggling school girl. 

Undermine the other party's confidence in their position/proposal by passing notes to each other look up and snigger.

6. Good cop bad cop. 

Apply psychological pressure with this old classic. The intended effect is that good cop gets incremental concessions as a result of bad cop's behaviour.

7. Chinese water torture. 

Continuous repetition of the same demand regardless of response (unless it's 'yes') in the hope that you will grind the other party down or at least squeeze extra concessions out of them.

8. Going nuclear. 

Dismiss relatively small demands with disproportionate sanctions.

9. The shudder. 

React incredulously to a proposal "you can't be serious, that's no where near realistic".

10. Pickpocket. 

Deliberately take a little extra post agreement e.g. pay late or change specification.

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Muck Shift

Just when is a deal not a deal…? I heard this story from a friend of mine the other week; there are some lessons to be learned! So, my pal is a developer and is building some houses on what is essentially a square site. Two sides of the square can be accessed from the road in a neighboring housing estate and the other two are beside a field owned by another developer. There is a huge pile of muck to shift before the actual building project; this phase is known in the trade – and not unreasonably - as a "muck-shift"! As there will be 80 -100 lorries coming in and out each day for 6 weeks, it was considered more convenient to access the site over the field, so an approach was made to the developer to discuss the terms under which he would allow access. This is a standard arrangement and the deal typically is that the field would be returned to the owner in its original condition. Developer makes a bit of money, where otherwise he wouldn’t; homeowners in the adjoining estate are less inconvenienced; builder does not need to spend money cleaning the streets and getting them back to a usable state at the end of the project. Win-win.

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