7 - AGENT OF LIMITED AUTHORITY: Anyone who has ever negotiated the price of a car at a dealership has seen this strategy used. How often has a sales representative told you that he or she would like to close the deal on the car right now, but only the sales manager can make the final decision? That's what it means to be an agent of limited authority. It may be one of the misleading negotiation techniques.
The purpose of this strategy is to buy time and get more input, hopefully moving the negotiations in a direction that is more favorable. Since, in most cases, the negotiator really does have the power to make the final decision, the counter can be packaged in two different ways.
As the first of your negotiation techniques, you could consider becoming an agent of limited authority yourself, having only the power to "suggest" a final agreement. Your final approval must also be obtained from an absent authority. Or, you could ask to see the person who has the final say-so, refusing to negotiate with anyone who cannot give a yea or nay to your offer.
8- POLICY OR PROCEDURE: In order to make a specific point non-negotiable, one party could declare it to be "accepted" policy or procedure. If the other side concedes this to be correct, the parameters and dynamics of the negotiations have been altered. Now, rather than discuss this item, it has been locked in stone by both sides.
Sometimes, merchants use this strategy to avoid having to accept returned items. Signs in the store might proclaim, "ALL SALES ARE FINAL." This statement reinforces a position that is totally advantageous to the seller with no regard for the purchaser.
In reality, of course, very few items are so accepted as the norm that no concessions can be made. The counter to this one of the negotiation techniques, then, is to challenge the policy, showing how its enforcement will serve to harm that party. For instance, you might remind the merchant that you can take your trade elsewhere in addition to telling your friends and acquaintances about the poor service you received.
9 - "Try It, You'll Like It": You may have heard this strategy referred to as the "puppy dog tactic" for the following reason. Think about how a pet store owner might increase the potential of selling a puppy dog to a family having young children. The parents may be indecisive or not want to spend the money on a pet, even though the children are insistent.
The owner might offer to let the family take the puppy home for the weekend. And, if the family decides not to purchase it, the puppy can be returned the next Monday. Of course, the anticipated result is that the children will become so attached to the pet that it would be unthinkable for the parents to return it. They will have tried it and liked it.
This strategy is used to let the other party see for itself the value of the item. Negotiations require far less effort if the buyer or other party is willing. A trial run with a product which is highly desirable can hasten a favorable decision. To counter this strategy if it is tried on you, attempt to arrange the same type of trial for all alternatives. When they are compared using the same criteria, your perspective could change.
10 - DISBELIEF: This strategy can best be described by the stories which former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's staff told about their boss. No matter how good their work, the staff members reported, Kissinger would look them in the eye with a straight face and say, "You've got to do better than that."
The idea was to force better performance or, in the case of negotiation techniques, a better offer. The phrase implies that what was done was so obviously below what was expected that the point didn't even require discussion.
To counter this strategy, good negotiation techniques require you to ask one of two questions. The first: "How much better?" This question puts the burden of a response back on the other party and forces that person to state a position.
The second: "Why must I do better?" This query also time to think and placing the other party in an uncomfortable position. If a good reason for "doing better" cannot be given, no changes need to be made.
11 - CHANGING LEVELS: Often a negotiated item will be perceived differently by someone at another level of the organization than by the person directly involved in the negotiations. It may be better to change levels in order to have a specific offer accepted more readily. While most people interpret this strategy to mean approaching a decision-maker who has more power in the organization, it could likewise be smart to approach someone who simply has a specialized type of input.
For example, who would be better qualified to select the proper photocopier to buy - the boss or the administrative assistant? While many people would try to sell directly to the boss, it is logical to assume that the administrative assistant would have the power to sway the boss into making a choice based upon the real needs of the office.
To counter this strategy, you may want to meet in advance of any formal negotiations to ensure that your position is consistent at all levels. In this way, the other party will find that changing levels provides no advantage.
12 - QUICK CLOSE: Put yourself in this situation. You know you're close to agreement after extensive negotiations, but, somehow, the other party just can't seem to take the final step in your direction that will seal the deal. That's when a "quick close" might work.
You've seen this strategy used many times. While bargaining with you for an appliance or an automobile, to speed the process along, the salesperson makes an offer that sounds something like this: "We're close to agreeing on this deal, but I can tell you're still a little hesitant. Let me do this. I'll throw in a six-month warranty free. That way, if anything does go wrong, you'll be covered."
The intent is to get you to make a decision immediately, closing the negotiations and finalizing the agreement. This type of small additional item can create enough of an impetus to get you or other buyers to act. In most cases, the warranty will cost the merchant little or nothing. However, the perceived value in the offer elicits action. The deal is sweetened with the hope of a positive result.
To counter this strategy, the real value of the extra item must be realistically assessed. If it is advantageous to accept the offer, by all means do so. If, though, the add-on's value is more fluff than substance, continue the negotiations.
These 12 strategies, when combined with other effective negotiation techniques can make the difference in your next negotiations opportunity. By understanding the give-and-take required, you'll be better prepared to reach your goals.