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50 Practical Negotiation Tactics

50 Practical Negotiation Tactics

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Published by: Baengeo on Jan 24, 2011
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Walking away from the table in the middle of negotiations is a risky tactic that

should only be used when you know you have a good alternative to what is on the

table AND you believe that the other party will think that you really are serious

about quitting for good. Your opponent will have to either let you go and run the

risk that things are really over, or go after you and perhaps make a new concession

in order to get you back to the table. Whether you are really bluffing or you are

serious, be sure you think this through beforehand.

Example 1

Jay Vahaly has purchased three new Toyotas from Pembroke Toyota over the past

twelve years, all from Sue Wilson, a veteran salesperson. He stopped by Pembroke

one day to look at the new models.

Jay: Hi. My name is Jay Vahaly. I’ve worked with you before.

Sue: I remember you, Jay. You bought your wife a new van just last year,


Jay: Yes, and the lease on my Avalon is about to expire. I like it, but I thought I

might want to try a new Highlander.

Sue: Let me get you the keys so you can take this one home overnight to see how

you like it.

(Vahaly drives the new Highlander home. He really likes it, but his Avalon has

been a good car, and he can simply buy it when the lease expires. The next morn-

ing, the following exchange occurs.)

Jay: Sue, here are your keys.

Sue: Well, Jay, how did you like it?

Jay: Okay, but my Avalon is a good car, too. I don’t want to negotiate. You had

time to assess my car; if I roll over the lease to a Highlander, what can you

do on a 36-month lease?


50 Practical Negotiation Tactics

Sue: Give me a few minutes and I’ll find out …

(20 minutes later)

Sue: Well, Jay, you can turn in the Avalon and get the Highlander for only $249

dollars more per month.

Jay: What? I was thinking the lease payment would be, at most, $100 more.

Sue: Sorry. These Highlanders are hot items!

Jay: Well, I’m disappointed. I thought I’d get a fair deal. Please go back and

work out a lower lease payment.

Sue: I’ll try.

(15 minutes later)

Sue: Well, Jay, they came down to $199 more on a thirty-six month lease.

Jay: I guess I’ll go to Dixie Toyota and see what they will do for me.

(He walks away)

Sue: No, Jay—wait. Let me try again.

(Jay got in his car and drove home. Sue called him as soon as he walked in the

door and offered another $50 break on the lease. Jay accepted. That was the figure

he was looking for. He was prepared to keep his Avalon if the lease was even $1

more than his limit.)


Jay knew his BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement): to go somewhere

else if the deal isn’t good enough. He effectively used the walk-away tactic to let

Sue know that he was firm on the price.

Example 2

Larry and Judy Bizannes own the Bizannes Music Mart, a successful musical instru-

ment sales and rental store. They’ve talked about retiring in recent months, but

Reaching Agreement


both of them love their store. One day, Michael Roberts, a local developer, visited

their store. He met with Bizannes twice before.

Michael: Good morning, Larry. How’s business?


Great! I’m surprised to see you again.

Michael: Well, Larry, I still want to develop this block, and I only need your

building to own it.


Yes, you’ve already told us that, and we gave you our price. You rejected

it, so why are you here?

Michael: I’ve discussed it with my partners, and I’m prepared to offer you $4.5

million, today, with a certified check.


Judy, come out here!

(Judy comes out from the back room.)


Michael is here again, and he is offering us $4.5 million for the build-

ing. What do you think?


Larry, our accountant said it’s worth $6 million, and I’m not interested

in less.

Michael: I have a check right here for 4.5 million.


Larry, let’s eat lunch.


Michael, go back to your office.

(Judy and Larry walk into the back room and close the door. Two months

later, after no contact from Larry or Judy, Michael calls on them again with

a check for $5.5 million, which the Bizannes accept.)


Larry and Judy used the walk-away tactic and stayed away for two months in order

to convince Michael that they were firm on their price. In reality, they were pre-

pared to accept $5.0 million, but their continued walkout convinced Michael that

they would hold firm.


50 Practical Negotiation Tactics

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