Negotiation Tip #26
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Ask Hardball Negotiators for Advice

In a previous tip we discussed using the word “cooperate” at the beginning of your negotiation, as well as asking your counterpart to describe their goal. This reduces the likelihood that negotiators will use hardball tactics.

If your counterpart does use hardball tactics though, such as intimidation, try asking their advice:

Counterpart Jo (in a loud voice):
This is the best deal you’re gonna get. I strongly suggest you stop asking questions and take it.

You (in a calm, gentle voice):
Thanks for the advice Jo; I appreciate it. I could really use your advice about something else as well. What do you do when you think someone is trying to intimidate you into saying yes to a potentially unfair deal? That always stumps me. 

This kind of response puts you in control of the conversation, makes it clear intimidation will not work and keeps you from saying yes prematurely. 

It is only effective if you deliver this or any message calmly. If you yell, you are simply lobbing a hardball response back to your counterpart, which escalates the confrontation. And that almost guarantees neither you nor your counterpart will be satisfied with the negotiation outcome.

Drive Every Negotiation with Confidence

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