Friday, September 24, 2010

Best Practices in Negotiation - Is It A Trick?

Jack wanted to sell his kayak, so he listed it online and got a few inquiries.

One couple came over with a truck, a good sign, but the wife criticized the implement in a voice that could be heard down the block.

Surreptitiously, Jack had Googled her name before she arrived. He expected diva-like behavior, having discovered she is an actress in regional theater productions.

Examining the kayak she bellowed to her husband, "I thought it would be LARGER!" He was standing right next to her.

Was her loud lament a negotiation trick or a heartfelt expression of chagrin? Did she hope, by lambasting the item she would lower the price?

Jack thought so, and purposely he elected not to react.

Imperiously, she departed with her spouse. About three minutes later, she returned, rang the bell, strode up to Jack and made an offer that was a third lower than the asking price.

Another ploy?

"Definitely," says Jack, no stranger to the bargaining dance.

"Walking away was her big move," he explained. "It's taught as a tactic in negotiation books. Mistakenly, she thought I would follow her out the door, as if I were running a bazaar!" he quipped.

Another couple expressed interest but canceled an appointment an hour after the agreed meeting time. Phoning, one of the partners mentioned she wanted to photograph the kayak to show it to her husband.

Jack tentatively set a meeting for that purpose, but then recanted, explaining in a note that it made no sense to show it if no offer could be made at the same time.

Was her belated cancellation and then the photo request, tricks?

"If you're serious about buying you cut to the chase, you don't add needless steps to the process," Jake mused.

Expect tricks, gambits, low-ball offers, and delays. Like battles, few negotiations turn out exactly as planned.

As for Best Practices in Negotiation, you can count on this rule of thumb: "If you think it is a trick or a ploy, you're probably right!"

Jack did sell his kayak to the second couple, after establishing this ground rule to lend seriousness to the process: "When you come to see it, bring cash, and a truck!"

They brought the cash.

"Good enough!" Jack smiled.

By : Dr._Gary_S._Goodman

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