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Monday, January 5, 2009

Negotiation Tactics

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For write-ups on other topics of marketing and sales management, refer: (Marketing Management Overview), (Marketing Orientation), (Marketing Management Tasks), (Market research), (Market Segmentation), (Advertising), (Sales Promotion), (Sales/Selling Process), (Negotiation Skills), (Objection Handling)

Negotiating Tactics

(Refer URL: to read on the related topic titled Negotiation Skills)

We are giving below some of the common negotiation tactics that are used by the negotiators in their work. We are not labelling any tactic as good or bad or even effective or not so effective. Since in real life people do use them from time to time to get leverage in their negotiations with others, it is important that every one knows them. You may use the tactic that seems right to you depending on the situation and various factors related to the situation. Here are these negotiation tactics:

1 Always follow the process: Follow the 7 step process of negotiations as given at

2. Unwilling buyer or seller: Showing reluctance, disinterest, casual attitude, it's immaterial whether the deal takes place or not.

3. Recoil: Use body language projecting surprise, shock or unpleasant reaction to the offer made.

4. Ask a bit more at close: Wait until end of the negotiating process and then, ask for a little more.

5. Pressure to reveal: Put pressure on the other party to reveal their position by indirect expression like, "how much more can you improve on it?" The other party can get away by saying, "what's your expectation?"

6. Power game: Using your power position (authority, charisma, position, power to reward or punish, financial strength etc) to win a negotiation.

7. Gain other's trust: By doing so, the other party may open up or loosen up to speak out what is up his sleeves.

8. Compromise: Splitting the difference exactly equally or almost equally.

9. Isolate the resistance: Keeping aside a sensitive point of negotiation and discussing other areas of negotiation.

10. Swap: Asking the other person to offer a piece of benefit in exchange of a benefit you are willing to offer him.

11. Can walk away without losing: Communicating the other party that it does not hurt me/us any way if the deal is not sealed with them.

12. Written Word: Facts and figures in writing are take more authentically as compared to when you speak them out. So keep your written supporting material handy for use during negotiations.

13. Confused: Pretend or act confused. It diffuses competition.

14. Throw tantrums: Emotional drama may cause the other party to lose their focus or attention on some aspects of negotiation.

15. Place of negotiation: Carrying out negotiation in a particular place may have impact on the process and outcome of negotiations. Therefore, choice of venue for negotiations is important.

16. The nice guys: He is that negotiator who goes along with you but secretively is against you. You have to spot him and deal with him appropriately.

17. Power of presence: While the negotiation is being carried out your subordinate, you being present on the spot may be of advantage.

18. Networking: When you have a wide network and you happen to negotiate with one from your network, since you have already done your pre-negotiation preparation, the process results in positive synergies.

19. Direct attack/Exhibit power: When you have strengths, you are in powerful position and nothing to lose but only to again, and you are also right, make a direct attack so that the others will give in quickly. The times you know that you are wrong but powerful and you are not concerned about the other person or party, you can exhibit your strength and clinch the deal.

20. Indirect attack: When there are threatening and time consuming barriers, you can do with an indirect attack on the other party by involving a third party that possesses a great degree of power over the the other party.

21. Person to person: If an important negotiations involve groups of people on both sides negotiating, you may choose to deal the matter on one-on-one basis if that has chances of better success.

22. Divide and rule: This is a corollary or extension of person-to-person tactic. This is particularly true when the other party consists of persons having differences of opinions of some aspects of negotiation but are putting up a common front.

23. Outnumber: Constitute your negotiating team with more number of people with more knowledge/expertise than the number of persons in the other party.

24. Strike when the iron is hot: See and grab the opportunities and take advantage of them. Make sure you have the required back up resources to manage the outcomes of negotiations.

25. Speed: Be there to negotiate and close it successfully faster than the other interested parties.

26. Create momentum illusion: Create a perception that some plan or some business is gaining momentum and get the rest of the people to join the bandwagon.

27. Trap: Deceive the other party in perceiving loopholes in your proposition and pursue the negotiation with vigor and fall into your trap.

28. Harassment: When your victory is not in sight and if you have a way, you can harass the other party and make it weak and lose confidence. they will give in.

29. Reserved: Make yourself hard to find person. The issue brought forward may fizzle out on its own or when you make yourself available after a lots of wait, you may dilute the issue as the other party has lost patience.

30. Suicide: Allow other party to go ahead with their plan unrestricted when you are sure that their chances of failure are very high, it's suicidal. When they fail or do not show promise, you take over and dictate.

31. Winner: It is opposite of suicide. If the other party wins or they do better, take credit for negotiating it that way and become the winner yourself.

32. Waste other's time: If you have plenty of time on hand and the other person with whom you are negotiating cannot afford to loose his time, keep on stretching your negotiations with him. He will close it in your favor.


The above-mentioned list of negotiating tactics are not necessarily comprehensive. There may be many more. Here the idea was to give you a good flavor of them.

Some of the above-mentioned tactics support the win-win approach, some don't and there are some that are rank win-lose tactics. Use those tactics that suit your personal and professional values and considering their short term and particularly long term effects.

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


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