Negotiation Tactics.

The study of human behavior
Pretty much all of us have come across a situation where we have to negotiate whether it is trying to convince your boss for a pay rise, closing a deal for a new home or even selling a new product or service to a potential client, in reality more often than not you will find yourself in a position where you have to put forth your best foot to explain your reasons for your proposal or argument or convince somebody else to help you do something for you in exchange for something that benefits them also, sometimes its the other way round where someone is trying to convince you to help them. In regards to negotiating it is useful to learn some techniques not only to help you with your business and personal life but to help you recognize them being used on you also. 

Know who you are dealing with 
One of the most important aspects of negotiating and building your negotiation skills is the ability to recognize and understand the person you are dealing with, this will help you shape your proposal for maximum effect. What you are looking for is a good level of rapport so you can have an idea of their psychology, their background, likes, dislikes and more importantly find out what they'd most likely respond to. You may not get this completely correct every time but it gives you a better foot to stand on. Keeping your ears open for clues in the conversation and keeping your eyes open for visual cues or body language clues which will help you achieve a good personality profile to work with.

Conditioning
This always begins before you start your negotiations which you are essentially stating your conditions; this can take place over the phone, via email, letter etc for example...

You phone the car salesman who you want to purchase a new car from. He's says ''I will be happy to talk to you but I don't want to waste your time as I will only accept the full price of car and will be looking for a close in the next two days as there is another customer who is interested''


The car sales man has just preconditioned you to some terms without you really being able to chime in and make any requests your own. A way to counter this negotiation tactic is to state why you are you are calling in the first place and separate the conditions previously made to even out the playing field. You would say something like ''the reason of us sitting down and talking is to see if we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement in regards to price of the car, why don't we set those terms aside and see if we can agree on everything else.''



The use of higher authority
An effective way to reduce pressure in a negotiation is to introduce an authority who you will essentially need to gain approval from, this will basically take a small bulk of responsibility away from you and also will be useful in delaying the negotiations if you want  time to think things through. For instance if you want reduce the price of a product or service you are interested in and find yourself in a difficult position in the negotiating process you can say something like..

''Though what you are saying sounds tempting I will have to get back to you as I have to run it by my partner'' or ''I can see your prices are reasonable but I have spoken to my boss and he/she will not go higher than the price I stated earlier''.

When other people use this tactic sometimes the authority isn't real and use it to just give them an edge in the discussion. Lastly don't over use this tactic because if you do it will seem like you have no power in regards to the decision making and your negotiator will ask to see your supposed authority.





Good cop bad cop
A very common if not cliché technique which is designed to soften up the person being negotiated, interviewed or interrogated. Often used in movies and crime drama's the good cop bad cop technique is where one person is being questioned by two other people and one of them is particularly aggressive and abusive giving the person being questioned hassle while the other person is the polar opposite being more reasonable and understanding. The fact that the bad guy is so aggressive makes the person taking the grilling more pliable to the good guy seeing as he is looking for some sort of relief from the negative situation the bad guy has created, thus making him/her that much more suggestible for a negotiation in the good guys favour. Using good cop bad cop doesn't always have to be used by two people, one person can use this also by displaying two sides of his/her personality essentially being polarising and confusing. This tactic can be quite manipulative. 

High balling
Sometimes risky, high balling is where if you were selling a car you would set a price higher than the price you really want, if somebody was interested in the car naturally they would try and negotiate a price where it is cheaper for them but because you've set the price so high in the first place you may end up with a price exactly what you wanted to end up with in the first place or even better you may sell the car for more than you wanted in the first place. Though sometimes if you high ball too far the customer may decide to walk away as the price is too high and deemed questionable which is why you have too be careful as you may get rejected quickly. Their are many applications for high balling such as selling items and products, asking for a pay rise, selling a house and a lot more. When you ask for more, who knows? You might get it.

Nibbling
As negotiating can sometimes be tiresome and exhausting the longer the process take the need to reach an agreement becomes more and more desired. After a long negotiation process and when both parties agree on closing the deal one of the two people involved might ask for one more thing to include in the deal, this is called nibbling. Just before pen hits paper a request is made making it hard to say no as usually the request is small and the person being asked is psychologically drained after such a drawn out process. A nibble will usually be asked with something like ''by the way can you include a spare mouse with that computer system?'' A small request which is perceived as harmless. Remember nibbles are saved until the end when the other party is psychologically vulnerable.


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