Tactics are methods and techniques that have worked in the past — should work again.
Simply stated, tactics are what you will do to achieve your goals and strategies.
Tactics can be as simple as letting the other person speak first, or an elaborate manipulation involving power-grabs and misdirection.
Be careful to select and deploy tactics that don’t conflict with your goals or chosen negotiating style.
Don’t behave like a blood-thirsty pirate during negotiations if you need a trusted partner you can rely on later.
On the other hand – don’t leave significant amounts of money or valuable assets on the table just because you want to appear “fair and reasonable” to a counter-party you don’t expect to see again.
Tactical Decision #1 — How do you open this negotiation?
Negotiations start with an opening offer.
Good opening offers are:
Clear but complex.*
Avoid secret concessions.
*Clear but complex – Avoid ambiguity when making offers. It makes it too easy for an undecided counterparty to disengage from the negotiation — and leads to conflict down the line. Your opening offer should be clear — but not simple.
Try to develop an opening position that has multiple variables and plenty of options. Negotiations with a single variable end up in deadlock, and that can also lead to conflict. In the next lesson we’ll learn how to offer counterparties a choice of complex packages — both of which are good for you.
Both sides should understand that you want something specific — and are willing to give up something.
Don’t be overly clever, sophisticated, or nervous.
Some parties are so subtle and guarded that the other side may not even know that they are negotiating.
Opening positions should contain several variables or deal points.
The fewer the variables, the higher the chance of deadlock.
If you are just bargaining about price then you are HAGGLING, not negotiating.
Use your opening offer to set the agenda.
Your initial offer should cover all the variables or deal points you care about, but also specific requirements about time and process issues.