FlashMBA.com: The Evolution of Professional Skills Training

Tactical Tuesday:  New Faces (Aka: Mystery Man)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Oct 17, 2017 10:55:08 AM

New Faces

AKA:  Mystery Man, Revolving Door, Musical Chairs

Description: Another great group technique. You vary the line-up of your team during the negotiating process. New people join. Other people seem to change roles or attitudes. Can be cheesy and transparent, but it can also be very effective. Make sure this isn’t being done TO you.


Sample Usage (Alvin and Bob):   "Uh, Hi.  I was waiting to see Bob.  Bob Clawson.  I have a 2:30 appointment."

"Yes, Alvin,  I'm afraid Mr. Clawson is detained by other business.  He asked me to meet with you in his place.  I'm Carl Stone, the head of operations at Clawson Tech. "

"Well, that's suprising."

"It's no problem at all.  Mr. Clawson has briefed me in full.  Now could I ask that we please discuss the situation regarding exclusivity of the designs you'll be doing for us?  I'm not sure that we're all on the same page there."

Alvin sighed and prepared to explain - for the 4th or 5th time - his requirements about the use of his firm's intellectual property. " 

Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap

Read More

Topics: Tactical Tuesday, killer negotiating tactics, Stall, New Faces

Tactical Tuesday:  Bait and Switch (Aka: Too good to be true.)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Oct 10, 2017 9:10:48 PM

Bait and Switch

AKA:  Fine Print, Too Good to be True

Description:  He thinks he is negotiating for what’s behind “door #1”, but at the last minute you swap in a more advantageous variable (for yourself).

Intent:  Manipulate value by swapping variables in a way favorable to you.

 Sample Usage (Alvin and Bob):  “Bob, I don’t understand what you’re talking about.  We agreed that the StorageWorld contract would be split according to the new partnership.  Now you’re telling me that I’m supposed to do this at the old contract rate?”

      “I know, Alvin.  It’s not ideal, but they moved up the schedule and  decided we have to work with the existing templates that Simmons signed off on.”

      “But what about all the work I’ve done?  I never would have agreed to drop all my other projects to focus on StorageWorld if I had known we were just treating it as another short-term contract.”

      “Alvin, it’s unfortunate, but this is the deal on the table.  We can still turn this into a solid win, but we have to buckle down and get our final designs in by next Wed.  If we can clear this last hurdle, we’ll be back on target.  This doesn’t affect our long-term plans, but right now  we have to work together.”

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

Read More

Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, killer negotiating tactics, Bait and switch

Tactical Tuesday:  Why?  (Aka: Tell Me More...)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Sep 12, 2017 9:10:00 AM

Why?  AKA:  Tell me more.  Please explain.  That’s interesting.

Description:  A non-threatening, neutrally phrased Why? in response to an aggressive proposal or emotional trigger is just what you need to get a contentious negotiation back on track.  It’s not a challenge.  It should come across as a genuine(ish) inquiry.  You want to understand this new proposal.  Totally innocent and non-

Sample Usage:  “That’s interesting, Bob.  Honestly, I hadn’t even considered reinvesting the partnership's profits for 5 years.  Can you explain the logic behind that?”

Intent:  Buy time, gain information.

Style:  Best with Collaborative or Accommodative, but works with any style.

Counter:  Benchmarking, Big Story,   (take the Why? as an opening to reframe your position).

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

Read More

Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, killer negotiating tactics, countertactics, counter-tactic, why

Freelance Ain’t Free: Part 2 – What Does Your Win Look Like?

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Sep 7, 2017 11:18:26 AM

Freelancer Problem #1: What’s your WIN?

Forget about individual projects right now. Where are you dong to be in 3 years? Is your freelance work part of your entrepreneurial business plan that will see you starting a major enterprise? Or would you like to end up working at his company? Or are you just using freelance work as a side-hustle until you do something else? Maybe you’re involved with NGOs or organizations that do socially important work that you support.

 Read Part 1:   Freelance Isn't Free - Negotiation Planning  

The key strategic issue is how this freelance assignment fits in with your bigger picture goals.  

That is going to be key to figuring out how much to invest in getting the job — and how much you’re going to get paid.  

Figure out your base rate. We’ll look at this in much more detail at a later time, but if you want plan on grossing $100K in a year, you’ll need to earn $400 per day, or $2000 per week.

So if $400 per day is your base, you now have to think about how much you are willing to adjust your price -- premiums as well as discounts. . 

For an ordinary assignment, your base rate is a great place to end up. If it is an industry or cause that you really care about, you can give a significant discount if it means getting the job. And what about a difficult client or an industry that you don’t care about — or will have to do a lot more work to complete? Add in a premium that ill make it worth your while.

Read More

Topics: Negotiating agenda, killer negotiating tactics, Freelancers

Tactical Tuesday:  Call His Bluff (aka: I Dare You)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Sep 5, 2017 9:16:20 AM

Call His Bluff  AKA: I dare you, the reveal, put up or shut up.

Description: Sometimes you have to call. Stay calm, don’t escalate the tension, and make sure it stays his choice. “If that’s what you feel you have to do, then that’s what you’ll do.”

Sample Usage: David Simmons leaned across the table and locked eyes with Bob “The Bear”, and - for the second time in 10 minutes - announced,

“There’s another software firm that StorageWorld could use to design the site. That’s all I’m saying.”

Bob considered for a moment, and then calmly said, “Use them then.” Simmons cocked his head and slowly sat back in his seat. Alvin started stammering something as he thumbed his phone frantically, but Bob gestured for him to shut up and calm down. Then he continued.

“Seriously, Dave, if you think you can get a better deal by starting over again with someone new, go ahead. And just know – there are no hard feelings. But when you call us back in 8 weeks to get your project back on track, it’s not going to be any cheaper or any quicker. Of course you have other options – and so do we. But rushing to meet arbitrary deadlines when we aren’t even breaking even is no way to do business.”

Simmons sighed, and seemed to ponder a new situation.

“Ok, Bob. I’m sure we can work something out. Let’s all talk it through over lunch.”

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit


Read More

Topics: negotiating tactics, killer negotiating tactics, Bluff, call his bluff

Freelancing Isn't Free - A FlashPoint Explainer Video (3 minutes)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 31, 2017 9:56:09 AM

The 3 Challenges All Freelancers Must Manage:


Read More

Topics: killer negotiating tactics, business survival skills, international negotation, Freelancers

Sources of Power for Negotiators:  a FlashPoint Explainer Video (2 min)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 23, 2017 5:21:54 PM

FlashNote:  Sources of Power for Negotiators

Read More

Topics: Negotiating strategy, killer negotiating tactics, flashpoints, Sources of Power, negotiation tactics

Your Killer Negotiating Plan Part 4:  Negotiating Styles

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 17, 2017 2:23:54 PM

 Style / Relationship Planning

The final plan you should make is about your negotiating style – which is another way of talking about the relationship you’ll have with the other side.   The standard for discussing negotiating style is a matrix where the X axis is your ranking for how you value YOUR SIDE’s satisfaction with the outcome and the Y axis your ranking for how you value THE OTHER SIDE’S satisfaction of the outcome.

This the standard negotiating styles chart: 


(But it might be easier to think of this way:)

Read More

Topics: Negotiating strategy, Cross cultural negotiation, killer negotiating tactics, strategic partner, international negotiator, negotiating style, building relationships

Tactical Tuesday:  Marry Me!  (aka: You and Me against the World)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 8, 2017 9:32:35 AM

Name: Marry Me!

AKA: You and Me Against the World, Local Expert, Needy Ned

Description:  One side wants a relationship more than any other deal point or variable.   Unfortunately they may not have much else to offer.

If you have a strong brand, a protected technology, good marketing channels, or some other entrenched competitive advantage, you’ll find that there are plenty of potential partners who want to lock you into some form of strategic tie-up — even if the terms of the actual business aren’t particularly well defined.  Don’t be fooled by the low-cost, low-maintenance terms of the deal.   The moment you hint that a partnership isn’t completely out of the question, your new devotee is going to leverage this relationship within his or her own network.  This is very common with counterparties who are significantly smaller or new to the market. Scrappy boot-strappers love this move – you might not.

 Sample usage (Alvin and Bob):

            Alvin: I met a guy at the Chicago conference from China. TJ Chen, head of Hangzhou Software. Sounds like he has great connections in China.

            Bob: It always sounds like someone has great connections in China. What of it?

            Alvin: He wants to talk about distribution and localization.

            Bob: In China?

            Alvin: Yeah. I know that wasn’t exactly on our map, but TJ seems to feel we’d be a great match. He has the government connections and marketing channels. All we’ll have to do is pay for localization of the product into Chinese – but his engineers are all bilingual. He’s talking about an exclusive relationship.

            Bob: So we’re providing the IP, the product, AND we’re paying to translate it? All this guy is offering is to hold our hand and be a soft shoulder to cry on when and if things stall out. Meanwhile, he has EVERYTHING of ours.

            Alvin: We need local partners if we want to expand internationally.

            Bob: This guy isn’t a partner. He’s an opportunist. Don’t even take another meeting with him.   Partners share risk and costs. This is just a showboat who wants to tell his home network that he has a big deal with a foreign designer.

Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap


Read More

Topics: Tactical Tuesday, how to negotiate, millennial managers, negotiating tactics, marry me, killer negotiating tactics

Something Powerful

Tell The Reader More

The headline and subheader tells us what you're offering, and the form header closes the deal. Over here you can explain why your offer is so great it's worth filling out a form for.


  • Bullets are great
  • For spelling out benefits and
  • Turning visitors into leads.

Subscribe to Email Updates


Professional skills training delivered in a fast, flash-card format.

Online classes, slideshows, videos and articles focusing on soft-skills.

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

Manage your skills training like you manage your career.

FlashMBA presents: Introduction to Negotiation - Prep & Planning: FlashMBA GOBLINS Guide to Negotiation

Subscribe to Email Updates

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all
Join the Managing Millennials Newletter

ChinaSolved: Business Solutions for International Negotiators

Share FlashMBA Articles


Follow Flash