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Tactical Tuesday:  Take It or Leave It

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 19, 2017 3:30:02 PM

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 11:32:27 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,

Tactical Tuesday:  Still Friends

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Apr 5, 2017 1:48:36 AM

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 29, 2017 2:54:04 AM

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

Tactical Tuesday:  The Trial Balloon (aka: Test Close)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Mar 21, 2017 8:13:31 PM

Negotiating Tactic:  Trial Balloon

AKA: Test Close, What if…?

Description:  What if I could triple the size of the order? What kind of price would you give me then?

One of the best ways to determine the other side’s BATNA is to sound like you are making an offer that is almost too good to be true.   Warning: This one doesn’t make you many friends, and may undermine your reputation. Still – it can be quite effective. Just make sure to include that all-important phrase “if I could…”

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Tactical Tuesday:  Big Guns

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Mar 7, 2017 10:41:09 AM

Negotiating Tactic:  Big Guns

AKA:  Higher Authority

Description:  Sometimes you have to bring in the “Big Guns” from within your own organization – but it’s a good idea to make sure your own house is in order first.  

It is not uncommon to decide that  you need a little help from higher up in your own organization.  If you need more resources or a change in standard operating procedure to move your negotiation forward, then the only option is to move up the corporate ladder.

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Topics: millennial professionals, Tactical Tuesday, how to negotiate, big guns

Tactical Tuesday: Whose Problem is it?

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Feb 21, 2017 4:16:56 PM

 Whose Problem is it?

AKA: Rescue me.

Description: Intentionally placing yourself in a weak (or clueless) position in order to induce the other side to make a concession, solve a problem, bring in new resources, or use his network.   Often triggered by the line, “what are we going to do?”   The next person to talk owns the issue. Warning to- SPITRs: This move is your kryptonite.  

Related: This is the response to a technical SPITR. Related to Silence, Wait at the Altar.

Intent: Acquire technology or know-how, evade responsibility, or obtain free consulting services. Can also build relationships.

Style: Looks Accommodative, and it can be. But can also be Avoiding and Competitive. If both sides are contributing to the solution, it is Collaborative.

 Counters: If you want to work with this counter-party, then solve the problem or take the lead, but get paid for it. If you don’t – this is an excellent walk-away trigger.

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Topics: L&D, Negotiation, Tactical Tuesday, Tactics

Tactical Tuesday:  The SPITR (Smartest Person In The Room)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Feb 7, 2017 11:16:33 AM

Name:   The SPITR tactic.

When you absolutely,
have to be the
Smartest Person In The Room.

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Topics: millennial professionals, Negotiating strategy, Negotiation, Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, negotiating tactics

Tactical Tuesday: Imaginary Numbers

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jan 31, 2017 4:33:23 PM

Name: Imaginary numbers.

Aka: Funny Money, Top Down Analysis


An over simplistic – and usually false – idea that if a large number of people bought a product or paid a fee then the deal in question would be incredibly valuable. “If everyone with an iPhone pays us $0.99 for this app,we'll all get rich.”  

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics, Imaginary Numbers

Tactical Tuesday:  Reciprocity (You Scratch My Back...)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jan 18, 2017 10:44:00 AM
Reciprocity – You Scratch My Back – is so integral to the negotiating practice that many people overlook it as a tactic. You shouldn’t. It’s not a neutral process – you can turn it to your advantage and defend against dangerous ploys. 


Name: Reciprocity

AKA: You Scratch My Back, Give and Take

Intent: One side makes a concession to pressure the other side to make a corresponding compromise.

Style: Should be Coll
aborative or Compromising – but sometimes can be quite Competitive. Also used by Accommodators – with limited success.

Counter: Offer a concession of your own of equal or lesser value. If you feel his concession was made in bad faith, you must call his bluff and demand a more significant move.

 Combinations: Reciprocity is useful in “log-rolling”  situations where you are trading concessions in different variables. Reciprocity is very important to relationship-builders.


Reciprocal concessions are at the heart of business negotiation.   Weak negotiators answer and react – but successful negotiators use concessions to take the lead. They use concessions to control the pace and timing, to guide the negotiation in the strategic direction they want to move, and to build significant relationships. The key is planning. If you use the GOBLINS system , then you have already mapped out your agenda, variables, and valuations before you open your mouth. When the time comes to start trading proposals, you know how and when you will make concessions. Skill use of reciprocity is one of the only methods to force Avoiders to engage.


The keys to use of reciprocity as a tactic are:


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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics

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