Everyone negotiates something every day, more and more occasions require negotiation. People are different and use negotiation to handle their differences. Whether in business, government, or the family people reach most decisions through negotiation.
Through this blog I hope to offer advice and tips and explain the commonly used negotiation tactics which can be applied to almost any negotiation and suggest a counter if used on you.
Good Cop/Bad Cop
We have all seen the classic scenes from the 70s films with the good cop and the bad cop but many people often don’t realise when a good cop / bad cop scenario is being played out in front of them. This is where you are dealing
with two people, one is demanding concessions whilst the other is being more reasonable. The bad cop may not even be present, just referred to as a boss or other team members’ demand for a concession. They may even sympathise with you say they understand, however the ‘bad cop’ is being inflexible.
Don’t believe them! Make sure the person in front of you is fully empowered to make the decisions and reach agreement.
Example, from a Sellers point of view - Buying a car, a woman buying a car, likes the car and wants it, but
her husband is saying it is not fast enough and wants a bigger engine. The upshot being that the salesman is forced to sell at a lower price because the car is not really what they want. In reality, the car is exactly what they want.
Suggested response/counter tactic - Notice what is happening, remember that despite appearances the 'good cop’ is not on your side, you could focus all your efforts on the bad cop and ignore the good cop, you have to satisfy the needs of the bad cop so it should be his interests that are fully discovered and addressed. Re-focus on the real requirements to ensure all interests are met. And don’t forget you can always ask to postpone the negotiation if the bad cop (the decision maker) is not available.
Example from a Buyers point of view - The salesman is offering 1 years warranty on the car, the customer wants 3 years. The sales man sympathises with you, however quotes company policy as a restraint.
Suggested response/counter tactic – Understand who decides the policy and ask to speak to them. Benchmark the offer against a similar product from a competitor or you could use the take it or leave it tactic! Check to see if other customers have received a 3 year warranty on their purchases.
Ryboc – The Purchasing Experts
Experts in Purchasing, Experts in Negotiation
If you miss any of the tips in this log, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with TIPS in the subject header.
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