9 Negotiation Tricks You May Have Been Cheated By

Every single day you will find yourself in the middle of a negotiation. Whether it is on the job or at home, we constantly have to negotiate with other people.

What you don’t know is that there is a big catalogue of dirty negotiation tactics that some people use to get their way. We have outlined 9 of these negotiation tricks below. They are effective, but they might also have a negative impact on the relation to the person you negotiate with, so use them at your own caution!

1. Widows and Orphans

The other person plays on your sympathi for other people and tries to ‘guilt trip’ you into doing what they want.

  • “If I give you a salary increase, I will have to take it from one of your colleagues. What do you think about that?”
  • “Everybody else does not need what you require. Why is it that you do?”

This tactic is a way of moving from rational arguments to irrelevant (but powerful) feelings.

2. The Russian front

The other person gives you two alternatives, where one of them is severely unattractive.

  • “Either you get $50 in salary increase, or I can give you $500 in salary increase, but then you will have to migrate to Tajikistan”

In this example, it is obvious what you would choose (no offence, Tajikistan!), so by making one alternative so unattractive, you will get down on your knees praying for the other (also quite bad) alternative.

3. Padding

Padding is a technique where the other person will give you what you want and pretend that they are big and generous people, while they actually are not.

  • “I really don’t like this, but I will let you have it this one time!”

4. Shotgun

You find yourself in a “shotgun” situation when the other person does not want to continue before you have done something for him/her.

  • “I know this is important to you, but I refuse to even speak about this until you have given me an apology!”

5. Last minute

Just before you have reached an agreement, the other person introduces a new demand. When this happens, it is extremely important that you listen to the other person, but firmly declare that you will have to reopen negotiations and carefully consider the proposed demand before continuing.

6. That’s not all

This tactic is known from TV shop where you are bombarded with selling points on why a product is the best you have ever seen. In the end, you will wrongly feel that there are so many positive things (also called pseudovalue) about this product that you the offer is highly attractive due to all the benefits you will get – even at a reduced price.

7. Reverse compliment

The other person will give you compliments that assumes that you agree with them.

  • “We both know that we cannot afford salary increases this year, but…”
  • “I know you are not stupid, so of course we cannot do this…”

8. Kick and rush

The other person comes up with an aggressive demand and when you refuse, they will ask you “why?”. This technique forces you to defend your position (and be on the defense constantly) rather than pursue a professional negotiation where you can lay out your demands and interests in a sensible way.

9. The Brooklyn Optician

This tactic is a way of breaking negotiations down into very small pieces in order to make you lose the overview of the negotiation. Typically, it will be a product where you get the base for an attractive price, but before the product really makes sense you have to buy many small items for it. An example is airlines where you get the ticket very cheap, but will have to buy luggage, food, drinks etc. for the trip to really make sense.

Do you have any other dirty tricks? Let us know in the comments