How to Overcome the Top Ten Negotiating Tactics

Everyone uses negotiation tactics to get what they want, whether they’re haggling over the price of an item in a garage sale or discussing potential salary with a future employer. Most of the time, when you enter a negotiating situation you can expect the other party to use certain maneuvers to tip the scales in their favor. For example, you can expect a potential employer to offer you less money than they are actually willing to pay to give themselves negotiating room. And a buyer will usually act surprised at your stated price, no matter how reasonable it may be, to pressure you into lowering it.

Everyone uses these tactics, but that doesn’t mean that negotiations can’t be fair. Some tactics are acceptable, while others are downright sleazy. Tactics are part of the process, and you can use them and still maintain your negotiations on an honest level. In other words, the use of tactics doesn’t necessarily mean tricking or manipulating people.

Some tactics are simply tools to expedite the negotiation process; others are used to take advantage of the other person. To be successful in sales and business, you must be able to differentiate between the fair and unfair negotiation tactics so you can use the good ones to your advantage and deflect the questionable ones. Consider the following ten negotiation tactics and the methods you can use to deflect them:

Tactic #1: The Wince

The wince can be explained as any overt negative reaction to someone’s offer. For example, you might act stunned or surprised when your negotiating counterpart names their terms. This tactic tells your counterpart that you know your limits, which isn’t under-handed or dishonest. And wincing at the right time can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that when deals are negotiable, your counterpart will start high.

Of course, you won’t always be the wincer. Many times, especially in the sales profession, you’ll be on the receiving end of the wince. In this case, you can counter with the next tactic.

Tactic #2: Silence

In the negotiation process, silence can be your strongest tool. If you don’t like what your counterpart has said, or if you’ve made an offer and you’re waiting for a response, just sit back and wait. Most people feel uncomfortable when conversation ceases, and they start talking automatically to fill the void. Almost without fail, your counterpart will start whittling away his or her position when you use this tactic.

So what if you find yourself negotiating with a person who understands the importance of silence as well as you? Rather than wasting time in silence, restate your offer. Don’t make suggestions; just repeat your terms. This maneuver forces the other person to respond, and more often than not, they respond with a concession.

Tactic #3: The Good Guy/Bad Guy Routine

This sleazy tactic is often used in movies, where two detectives are interrogating a person who’s just been arrested. One detective seems unreasonable and inflexible, while the other tries to make it look like he or she is on the suspect’s side. This tactic is designed to get you to make concessions without the other side making any in return.

If you find yourself in a good guy/bad guy situation, the best response is to ignore it. Recognize this game for what it is, but don’t play along and don’t allow the good guy to influence your decision. The best technique is to let your counterparts play their game, while you watch out for your own interests.

Tactic #4: Limited Authority

This tactic is a variation on the good guy/bad guy routine, but instead of two people working over you, the one person you’re dealing with tells you that he or she must approve any deals with an unseen higher authority. Sometimes, this higher authority exists, but other times your counterpart will create this figure to gain an edge in the negotiation process.

So just because your counterpart tells you, “It’s out of my hands,” don’t automatically assume the person is being honest. In this type of situation, two options exist: one, ask to deal directly with this so-called higher authority; or two, test the limits of your counterpart. You may find that although the other person has used this tactic to force you into backing down, if you keep at him or her, you may get what you want.

Tactic #5: The Red Herring

This technique comes from fox hunting competitions, where one team drags a dead fish across the fox’s path to distract the other team’s dogs. At the bargaining table, a red herring means one side brings up a minor point to distract the other side from the main issue. Effective and ethical negotiators generally agree that this tactic is the sleaziest of them all.

When your negotiation process is bogged down with a minor problem, and your counterpart insists on settling it before they’ll even talk about more important issues, then you are probably dealing with a red herring. In this case, use extreme caution, and suggest setting the issue aside temporarily to work out other details.

Tactic #6: The Trial Balloon

Trial balloons are questions designed to assess your negotiating counterpart’s position without giving any clues about your plans. For example, you may ask your counterpart, “Would you consider trying our services on a temporary basis?” or “Have you considered our other service plans?” Essentially, these types of questions put the ball in your counterpart’s court, and the nice part about them is they aren’t really offers. They allow you to gain information without making a commitment.

When you’re on the receiving end of a trial balloon question, you may feel compelled to answer it thoroughly. To maintain your edge, resist this temptation and counter with another question. For example, if someone asks, “Would you consider financing the house yourself?” respond, “Well, if I did, what would your offer be?”

Tactic #7: Low-Balling

Low-balling is the opposite of the trial balloon. Instead of tempting you to make the first offer, your counterpart will open the process with a fantastic offer. Then after you agree, they start hitting you with additional necessities.

For example, say you see an ad for a product priced lower than other stores. But then after you agree to buy, the sales representative uncovers the hidden costs, such as shipping or installation. In the end you probably pay more than you would have at another store listing a higher price on the product. To avoid falling victim to this tactic, ask your counterpart about additional costs before agreeing to any deal.

Tactic #8: The Bait-and-Switch

Similar to low-balling, the bait-and-switch tactic should be avoided. Your counterpart may try to attract your interests with one great offer, but then hook you with another mediocre one. This tactic will almost always burn you, unless you can recognize it. If your counterpart were really able to offer a genuinely good deal, they wouldn’t have to resort to bait-and-switch.

Tactic #9: Outrageous Behavior

Outrageous behavior can be categorized as any form of socially unacceptable conduct intended to force the other side to make a move, such as throwing a fit of anger or bursting into tears. As most people feel uncomfortable in these situations, they may reduce their negotiating terms just to avoid them.

However, the most effective response to outrageous behavior is none at all. Just wait for the fit to die down before reacting, because emotional negotiations can result in disaster.

Tactic #10: The Written Word

When terms of a deal are written out, they often seem non-negotiable. For example, when was the last time you negotiated a lease, or a loan, or even a service contract that was typed up in advance in an official-looking document? You probably assumed these deals were non-negotiable, and for some reason most people make the same mistake of accepting terms that appear in writing.

The best defense against this tactic is simply to question everything, whether it appears in writing or not. You’ll inevitably run into some standard, non-negotiable documents, but it never hurts to ask questions. You may be surprised how many contracts actually are negotiable when challenged.

Better Negotiations in the Future

People have used these ten negotiation tactics for years, but that doesn’t mean they are always fair. So before you rush into your next negotiation situation, make yourself aware of these tactics and how they affect the process. When you learn the uses and defenses of these negotiation techniques, you can reach more mutually beneficial agreements and win more sales on better terms.


Are You Awake? Living in the Present Moment

In the present moment, everything is perfect. I have a friend who, when she is stressed or fearful gets quiet and reminds herself that right here, right now, right where she is, everything is fine, she’s safe, protected and cared for.

If you can string enough of those moments together, remembering that truth, then you really can be fine – comforted even – in every moment. All we directly experience is the immediacy of now.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the past and the future, but truly, being present in the moment is the key to successful living – life that isn’t stressful or pressured, but is enjoyed. In the present moment neither the past nor the future actually exists.

It’s over or it hasn’t yet happened. It’s not tangible or touchable or real. Living in the present moment is all we ever do and is all we ever experience. I know that sounds simple, but when you think about it – really focus on it, it’s shocking to realize how much of our time we don’t spend in the present! Buddhism tells us that which clings to the present is the source of all suffering.

Trying to hang on to the ever-changing moment is indeed very difficult, and takes focused practice. It can almost feel like you’re jumping onto a moving freight car, but hanging on to the moving moment can also be dangerous.

Living is the present moment means that we must our focus our attention on what is actually happening right now, whatever that is. It means letting go of perceived outcomes or imaginings and worry about what’s to come. Not easy, I know. It means expanding present awareness to include what is happening outside of our body, inside our mind, and within our body all at the same time. It’s why it’s a lifelong endeavor. It’s something you must decide to do, and then you must practice. Even as you get better, you’ll still need to practice. Coming back. Centering your mind on the present.

Trusting that in that very moment you are safe, secure, protected… It means to deliberately respond to current perceptions without cluttering them up with past memories or future anticipations. Acknowledge them, of course – they exist and are real. But don’t let them dictate your experience. Realize that only in this external moment, the possibility for life improvement and perfection exists. And, since this moment is all that’s available to us, we can be perfect, experience perfection, one second, one minute, one hour at a time.

Don’t pressure yourself and expect to experience it all the time at first. Settle – enjoy – love one moment of being in the present. Right now. Just now. Practice this experience. Notice the details of the sights, sounds, smells and sensations while you wash the dishes, or drive your car, or get ready for work. As you talk to people and move through your day.

Slow down and notice the colors, smells, physical feel, emotions and beauty of everyday living. Those moments are rich; those moments are filled with peace and happiness. Those moments are truly all we have.

Commercial Property – Presentation Strategies You Must Have In Sales and Leasing Property

In commercial real estate you are on the stage when it comes to selling and leasing property. You as the salesperson are the performer and the property market is your stage. Every day is a performance. The better you are at the process the more business you will attract.

This means that every part of your job in real estate has to be a personal performance and practice is the key to self-improvement. These are the stages on which to practice and refine:

  1. Taking a telephone enquiry regards a property for sale or for lease
  2. Prospecting for listings by the telephone
  3. Prospecting for listings personally in the streets and local area
  4. Inspecting property with sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants
  5. Presenting your property proposal to landlords and property owners
  6. Talking to a group of people on any public occasion
  7. Following up after a meeting or discussion
  8. Meeting with business leaders of the local community
  9. When conducting a negotiation or closing a deal
  10. When documenting an agreement, a contract or lease

You may be able to think of some more situations here, and that is fine. Importantly your skill in connecting and communicating in these situations has to be the finest of performances.

Take for example the item 4 above where you have to inspect a property. It pays to have a process or checklist that keeps you at the highest professional levels as you show or move through the property. It can be done in a simple way. Try this checklist:

  • Take the people to the property the best way that shows the area in the best way.
  • Have the entrance to the property ready with lights and air conditioning on, keys organised and ready, and easy access provided through the front door.
  • Know what’s in the property before you get there and have a preferred path of inspection within the property.
  • Rubbish and clutter must be removed.
  • Improvements within the property should be clean and functional
  • Services and amenities that are in the property should be clean and operational
  • Presentation from the front door to the back door should be great
  • Signage on the property should be clearly defined and any lighting therein operational
  • An information memorandum or brochure for the property should be available at hand to give to the inspecting party
  • Know everything you can about the neighbouring properties, the local area, the transport, and the local roads.
  • Have details of the history of the property so that any questions can be clearly addressed in the inspection.
  • Have your sign and name on the property (nothing is worse than taking a prospect to a property that has 5 other agents boards at the front gate)

Remember that you are the performer when it comes to the real estate market and that you are on stage every day. Practice your performance and make it the best. Stand out head and shoulders above the performance of your real estate competitors.