End of the World
AKA: Panic attack, Oh no you didn't, All over now
Description: You are threatening them with a catastrophic loss -- often of greater value than the entire deal you were negotiating -- if the other side doesn't give in to your demands RIGHT NOW.
Sample Usage: Carol: "Hello Mr. Clauson. I represent Alvin Altar and WellsVerne Studio. I'm calling to give formal notice that neither you, nor any of you clients or associates, have the right to use the artwork or marks designed by WellsVerne Studio after this contract expires in 17 months."
"Are you a lawyer?"
"That's not the issue. If StorageWorld uses Alvin Altar's designs in public, they will be sued for trademark violation. Is that clear?"
"I paid Alvin for his work, and you know it."
"The transfer of intellectual property was never clearly delineated in your agreement."
"So go ahead and sue me."
"Let's understand one another, Bob. When we go to court, it won't be you we're suing. It will be your client. Your biggest client. And once that happens, you can kiss your dreams of expansion goodbye. This lawsuit will probably destroy your entire business."
Intent: Ramp up the pressure on a counter-party -- often with unrealistic or hyperbolic threats.
Style: Competitive or Avoiding.
Category: Emotional Trigger
PIFH (Power/Influence: Fear & Hope): Fear. Big fear. One of the biggest, most obvious fear tactics.
Note: End of the World raises the stakes, so it works best when a mid-level manager is selling to a large, established partner. The buyer says, "If you can't meet this price, I'm switching suppliers". The thought of wrecking an important partnership scares the seller into significant concessions.
This is Take It Or Leave It on steroids. It is a naked threat that is usually irrational.
"You'll never do business in this town again."
"I'll sue you and your entire company."
End of the World is a fear tactic that a lot of people don’t plan on using. That may be the right choice, but you have to be ready for when this tactic is used on you. There are 3 occasions when you’ll run into it.
- The counter-party is projecting their fears and insecurities. It may be their world that is ending. Breathe, Why? , Silence. Find out what they are afraid of, and use it.
- Failure to sign this deal may very well have terrible implications. You have to assess the situation carefully, and check your BATNA. You may be turning very Accommodating, very quickly.
- They may be trying to pressure you, or may just be sketchy counter-parties. Consider if you want to be in business with them, and proceed accordingly.