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How to Negotiate Successfully: Fear Tactics (Part 4)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on May 25, 2017 3:32:19 AM

Negotiators who can’t use pure Power to force their terms on the other side have to rely on Influence – which means pressing his Hope and Fear buttons.  In the last article we looked at Hope.  Now it’s time to look at Fear - the pressure people feel when they face risk and possibility of loss.   

Fear tactics are all about the emotional trigger, and the basis of all emotional triggers is Take It Or Leave It (TIOLI) and the Walk Away.  The thing to remember about Fear tactics is that they are designed to influence – so there is a bit of a Bluff here.  If you really have the ability and intention of following through with your threats, then it is Power.  Fear indicates you want to maintain some kind of relationship or post-deal service. 

Use the Fear button when you are dealing with a counter-party who is constrained by internal pressures.  He’s afraid of telling a boss he came home without a contract – or worse, that he lost the relationship with a strategic partner.  Fear works best when the other side has a low BATNA and will be blamed by internal stakeholders for failure.   Fear tactics are designed to amplify his stress – you are making his “no-deal” option seem even bleaker, and his relationship with your organization even more tenuous.

 There are 2 big categories of Fear tactics:  loss of this deal, and loss of this relationship. 

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Topics: Tactics, how to negotiate, Power, PIHF, Fear, Hope

Negotiating Tactic: Foundation (the Test Order)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on May 22, 2017 11:24:29 PM

Tactics:  Foundation

AKA: Start Small, Slow and Steady, Building Block, Short List, Test Drive

Description: You’re taking a building block approach. Maybe it’s your idea – maybe it’s his.  But someone wants this to be a test drive – or the foundation of a strongerrelationship.

Intent: Build trust – very intentionally, and very slowly.

Sample Usage:  

Bob: “Maybe we’re moving a little too fast here.”

            Alvin: “What are you talking about?”

            Bob: “We’re going from occasional client to full partners pretty quick. What do you say we find a way to test things out a little?”

            Alvin: “ I understand why you would want to do that, but from my perspective it’s a different situation. I’ll do the design work and navigation systems. For a major one-off project we’d have to talk about licensing and residuals. Or pay me standard rates for a job this size – with this kind of IP.

            Bob: “My client’s not going to want to hear about that.”

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, Foundation

Tactical Tuesday:  How Can I Help?  (aka:  the Mentor)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 25, 2017 11:18:10 PM

Name: How Can I Help?

AKA:  The Mentor, Tell Daddy Your Problems

This is a recent one, and it seems to have developed in Silicon Valley.  See Frenemy. Someone – usually with money, power, or a track record – SEEMS to be offering to make all of your (business) dreams come true. For the unguarded and eager, the answer to “How Can I Help?” quickly turns into a quick & dirty master-class in your business model, with special emphasis on how to most effectively compete with you.  

Sample usage (Alvin and Bob the Bear): The consultant seemed so nice, so interested in Alvin’s situation. “My company works with designers and creative all the time, and we have a solid track record of supporting early stage business owners like you.   How can we help?” Before Alvin even realized it, he had explained who his biggest client was and what he wanted Alvin to do.

Intent: It might be that he really wants to partner with you – or maybe offer some free, fatherly advice. Because that’s a thing that happens. But it’s also possible that he wants you to describe the most vulnerable part of your business plan. Either way, you are expected to do a lot of the talking in the near future.
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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, how to negotiate

How to Negotiate Successfully:  Hope Tactics (Part 3)

Posted by Andrew PIHF on Apr 20, 2017 1:38:52 AM

Part 3:  Hope Tactics

You say HOPE, he says GREED.  Either way, there’s some real optimism in the air.  Hope tactics point the conversation towards the most positive, top-line-growin’ scenarios imaginable.  If you’re selling hope, then you want to keep your approach happy, big-picture, and super-confident. 

Power makes him think he has no alternatives – fear makes him feel that all his alternatives are worse.  Appropriate use of hope tactics makes him think that he’s lucky to have you.  There’s a fortune on the other side of that wall, and you are the guy to navigate and open doors for him. 


Hope-Greed tactics are usually intended to focus the negotiation on variables that will increase the size of the total deal and/or the counterparty’s profits.  If you are fortunate, these tactics may get him to reveal his optimistic goal and collaborate with you to make it happen.  Less positive but still useful is when they push back to tell you what can go wrong – in other words, what they’re afraid of.

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Topics: Tactics, how to negotiate, PIHF, Hope

Tactical Tuesday:  Take It or Leave It

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 19, 2017 4:30:02 AM

Take it or Leave it

  Final Offer, Last Chance, My Way or Highway, TIOLI.

Sample usage:  Bob began collecting papers and preparing to go.  "Alvin - you've taken me as far as I can go.  You've gotten yourself a good deal, but I can’t do any better."    There are a lot of ways to say it, but eventually you have to bring the negotiation to an end.  Salesmen call it "closing".  Buyers call it the squeeze. It’s TIOLI – Take It or leave it.

Intent:  You want to end the back-and-forth and finalize the negotiation on your terms. 


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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, TIOLI, Take it or leave it

Tactical Tuesday:  Frenemies

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 19, 2017 12:32:27 AM

Negotiating Tactic:  Frenemies

AKA:  The Mercenary, Opportunist

Sample usageBob the Bear waved away Alvin’s objections.  “I know that I was tough with you when you were just another supplier, but now we’re talking about an exclusive, long-term partnership.  You have to believe that it will be a completely different relationship now.”

Frenemy is one of those tactics that is also a behavior (like SPITR) – for some people.   You are making RELATIONSHIP a variable whose value changes frequently.    Frenemies aren’t hung up on people’s feelings.   If someone is useful, you’ll be close partners.  When they aren’t useful anymore, you move on.  For some negotiators, this is very challenging.  For others, it is second nature.

Intent:  Turn network contacts into business resources.  Assign values to connections with everyone, and activate relationships when advantageous.

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Frenemies,

How to Negotiate Successfully:  Power or Influence (Part 2)

Posted by Andrew PIHF on Apr 5, 2017 3:26:31 PM

Part 2:  Influence – Hope or Fear?

If you have better alternatives than your counterparty and really don’t see any value in building a long-term relationship, then you are in a good position to use POWER TACTICS.  The only downside here is that if you do it right, then the guy across the table will try to replace or go around you the first chance he gets.  That’s ok with you, though.  That’s what the power play is all about:  leveraging your advantage and maximizing the value of this transaction. Most of the time, however, you are an influencer.  Either you need the relationship or you don't have the power to force the terms of a transaction.  What's next?

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Topics: Tactics, how to negotiate, PIHF, Fear, Hope, Influence

Tactical Tuesday:  Still Friends

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 4, 2017 2:48:36 PM

Negotiating Tactic: Still Friends

AKA:  Breaking Up is Hard to Do, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone   

"Still Friends" is a high-pressure tactic you use with a risk-averse counterparty that you have relationship with.  Unlike BFF or Marry Me, you aren't offering to start a new partnership, but rather threatening to terminate an existing one.  If you are attempting to pressure a business owner over a one-off transaction, it doesn’t have much impact.  But if you use this on a mid-level manager in an organization that has a long-standing business relationship, it can be a very powerful move.

Intent:  Threaten to end an existing relationship unless concessions are made.

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday

Tactical Tuesday: Good Friends (aka: Besties)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Mar 28, 2017 3:54:04 PM

Good Friends

AKA: Besties, BFFs, Let's do lunch

Some deals are enhanced when you can build a cordial, professional relationship, and one of the best ways to do that is to get your counterparty out of the office and into neutral territory. Friendly is great, as long as it helps you. That means doing the analysis first, and then taking the lead on process issues, like picking the setting and engineering the terms of the new relationship.   At the end of the day, however, you have to make sure that the time and effort you put in is justified with specific gains.

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, how to negotiate, relationship building

How to Negotiate Successfully:  Power or Influence? (Part 1)

Posted by Andrew PIHF on Mar 24, 2017 1:59:07 PM

Every student or client I have ever trained to negotiate has one simple question floating around in his or her head – how do I WIN?   From the sharkiest competitor to the most cooperative collaborator, everyone wants to get something out of a negotiation.  

The answer is simple. You win by exerting either power or influence. Unforunately, in this case simple doesn’t mean EASY, it means NOT COMPLICATED.

Power: When you have at least one attractive alternative to this counterparty, and don’t care about the relationship.

 Influence: When you have limited alternatives and/or value the relationship.

(Spoiler alert – if you are reading this then you – like the vast majority of negotiators – are relying on influence.) Download eBook:  The Negotiator's Toolkit

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Topics: Tactics, how to negotiate, Power, PIHF, Influence, negotiating tactics

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