Negotiation Challenge Prepare to be challenged!

Negotiation tactic # 13 Onus Transfer

What would we need to do for you to grant us exclusivity?

Onus transfer places the burden (or 'onus') on the other party to tell you what they would need

Negotiation Infographic 13 Onus Transfer - 01

Negotiation tactic # 12 Mantra

We won't accept price rises!
We won't accept price rises!
We won't accept price rises!
We won't accept price rises!
We won't accept price rises!
We won't accept price rises!

Negotiation Infographic 12 Mantra - 01

Negotiation tactic # 11 Take it or leave it

In The Godfather, Luca Brasi suggested to a movie director that "either his signature or his brains would wind up on the contract". The Director agreed!

This is an example of Take It Or Leave It, an ultimatum that is designed to signal that no further negotiation is possible.

Negotiation Infographic 11 Take it or leave it - 01

Negotiation tactic # 10 Split the Difference

You are at $90, and the other party has offered $110

If they make a proposal to "split the difference", where will that be?

Negotiation Infographic 10 Split the difference - 01

Negotiation tactic # 9 Short and Sweet

Less is more

The more we say, the more likely we are to tie ourselves up in knots

Negotiation Infographic 9 Short and Sweet - 01

Negotiation tactic # 8 Nickel & Diming

How much is an economy seat on a budget airline?


What isn't included? Food? Baggage? In flight entertainment?

Negotiation Infographic 8 Nickel and Dime - 01

Negotiation tactic # 7 The Flinch

Roger Moore made a career out of raising one eyebrow

How do we communicate non-verbally?

Negotiation Infographic 7 Flinch - 01

Negotiation tactic # 6 Diminishing Returns

It's a little bit higher than we were expecting…

Aww, that's nice! Just a little bit?

Negotiation Infographic 6 Diminishing Returns - 01

Negotiation tactic # 5 Salami Slice

Can you provide a cost breakdown?

Why do buyers ask for a cost breakdown?

Negotiation Infographic 5 Salami Slice - 01

Negotiation tactic # 4 Trojan Horse

The printer is only $50.

But the printer cartridges are $100 each! What can you about a Trojan Horse?

Negotiation Infographic 4 Trojan Horse - 01

Negotiation tactic # 3 Out of your depth

You don't know much about (insert name of category here)?

What do you say or do next ?

Negotiation Infographic 3 Out of your depth - 01

Negotiation tactic # 2 Bridging

I'm looking to 5% to 10% off!

Why is that poor practice?
Negotiation Infographic 2 Bridging - 01

Negotiation tactic # 1 Absent Authority

Head office won't let me!

What do you say next?

Negotiation Infographic 1 Absent Authority - 01

How to plan for a negotiation

"The key to effective negotiation is preparation."

"Spend twice as much time on preparation as you expect to spend in negotiation!"

Easy to say, but we are all time poor. What if you don't have the luxury of time to plan?

Be more like Roger than Rafa

Many negotiators find an approach, a methodology, a suite of behaviours that works for them, and stick to them. Why wouldn't you?

Well, because it makes you predictable, that's why.

Here's what Rafa Nadal does before a match:
  • He has a freezing cold shower 45 minutes before the match.
  • He wears both socks at the same height.
  • He always places his bottles in the same exact position.
  • He carries one racket onto the court, and five rackets in his bag.
  • He ensures his opponent crosses the net before he does during a changeover.
  • He places his hair behind his ear and fiddles with his shorts or underwear before each serve.
  • He sips his energy drink and then his water, always in the same order.
  • He uses a towel after every single point.
  • He never rises from his seat before his opponent.
  • He avoids walking on the sidelines.
  • He doesn't put his headband on until just before he enters the court.

Critically, these behaviours empower Nadal, as he feels that he is in control. It is true that the other party can predict Nadal's actions exactly. But when he comes to serve? Well, he is harder to read, and that is what counts.

When you negotiate, by all means adopt preparatory routines that make you feel empowered or in the zone (Nadal's explanation for the cold shower). But don't be predictable, as the second or third time the other party encounters you, they will be watching for patterns or repeating behaviours.

This article explores AI analysis of three top tennis players, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer in order to predict their next shot:

"It needs about three matches to figure out a player's style. Once it has got those three matches it is pretty solid," Denman said. The algorithm was mimicking the brains of the top players who were already trying to predict their opponent's next shot.

So in three matches, the AI algorithm can predict a player's next shot!

While the artificial intelligent system proved successful, its biggest challenge was the unpredictability of the "Greatest Of All Time" player.

Be like Roger. Be unpredictable.

"We had an analysis of how accurate it is for those three top players -- Djokovic, Nadal and Federer," Denman said. "And it was least accurate for Federer, who is perhaps the most versatile. It struggled the most to predict him. He can do anything, so the model was more often wrong about him," he said.