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Negotiations aren’t limited to a bunch of managers or CEOs sitting at a long table making decisions. They happen everywhere. Customers love to negotiate –or rather haggle. So do colleagues, family members and friends. Be it a small business or a big one, negotiations in some manner or another are bound to happen.


…and sooner or later you’re going to meet a few dirty tactics. Machiavellian Tactics, as I like to call them. Here are four basic tactics you are likely to meet:


Machiavellian Negotiation Tactics


Negotiation Tactics


Dealing with Machiavellian Negotiators

1) Bogeys


Bogeys create importance from nothing. The other party will then concede the bogey, making it seem like they’ve made a huge concession and that you should make a similarly huge concession to be fair.


To counter it, ask to get a clearer picture of why that particular something they demand is so important. Treading gently, try to draw a comparison between your concession and their bogey-concession and show that yours is of far more value. Alternatively, you can attempt to counter-bogey them and give a concession that is equally useless.


2) Playing Highball


When met with a clearly extreme offer, apologize and explain that you can’t meet such a high standard. Let them take the initiative to moderate, rather than you move closer to their desired outcome.


3) One Last Thing…


Parties that use this tactic often exploit your desire to close the deal fast. An equally Machiavellian response is to lengthily discuss each last minute demand that is brought up. This deters future use of the tactic, and may end up with them intending to close the deal fast. Show no haste in closing the deal, and this tactic becomes futile.


4) The Overload


Admit your ‘incompetency’ and ask for clarifications on business jargons and statistics, as well as to slow down the pace of the negotiation. Watch as they try to prove that their fillers actually mean something.
“What do you mean by robust?”
“Can you demonstrate how it’s scalable?”
“What are your core competencies?”
“What process did you use to get to a statistic of 28.7%?”


Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it: Negotiation tactics from the pits of hell. Be wary for them –and for heaven’s sake –stay away from them as much as possible. Real negotiations shouldn’t be exploitative in nature.

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