Description: Now or Never. Take it or Leave it. This is the classic high-pressure power play.
One side decides – unilaterally – that the negotiation is over. The other side has to take the last offer – or lose the opportunity.
Application: “This has to be my final offer. I can’t go any lower. This is it — take it or leave it.”
Style: This is Competitive and Avoiding. It’s competitive because one side is forcing a new process on the other (ending the negotiation at a certain time). But it can also be considered avoidance because one of the parties is withdrawing from further negotiation.
Counters: Breathe, Call His Bluff, Let Me Think, Why — and ultimately, Walk Away. This is a power move, and your first job is to control your own response. Don’t blurt out a number — or even a counter. Get him to explain why this is his final offer.
NOTE: If you were considering developing a strategic relationship with this party, you should factor in this new behavior. Ultimatums are rarely isolated behaviors. You are dealing with someone who feels you can be intimidated — and that’s unlikely to change as your relationship evolves.