Monetary Concession

By Mark Jankowski

People may use three types of tactics to make you concede your pricing.  They may start with “Give me a ballpark price;”  “You have to do better than that;” and “Let’s Split the Difference.”  Each of these is difficult to handle, and when combined throughout a discussion of price, they can create a “triple-whammy.”

Let’s take a look at how to manage each of these monetary price concessions.

Give Me a Ballpark Price

There are two ways to manage this tactic. First you should resist the urge to provide a ballpark price. Rather than giving a figure off of the top of your head, tell the other side that you would much prefer to be able to think about the issue more so that you can make a more realistic assessment. If taking this approach is not possible, then make sure to lowball your ballpark to prevent getting locked into a bad deal before the discussion even starts.

You Have to do Better Than That

Defend against this tactic by asking the other side, “How much better do I have to do?” Asking this will force the other side to at least put a stake in the ground before you bid against yourself with no commitment from the other side. Learn More »

The Profundity of Rock, Paper, Scissors

By Linda Henman, Ph.D.

Unless you’re an only child, born to hermits who live in the remotest part of the world, you know the age-old wisdom of settling disputes with the “rock, paper, scissors” form of decision making. Theorists, academicians, and scholars have filled the shelves with lesser-known and less expedient forms of decision making, but this one reigns.

In less than five seconds—less than fifteen if you’re doing two out of three—a dyad or group can settle the question of who will make a critical decision. (I have seen executives groups take five months to do the same thing, with no greater payoff).  Sometimes these executives groups can’t decide who should decide; at other times, they think the group should decide but can’t
pick among the alternatives.

Who owns the decision? That’s the first question. Groups should make decisions only when the complexity of the decision demands everyone’s expertise, but not otherwise. “Buy in” from everyone isn’t usually realistic or necessary, and taking the time to get it can cost in lost opportunities.

Analysis paralysis cripples business. Does fear stand in the way? Usually, but spending more time ensuring 100% accuracy usually doesn’t offer a huge benefit. When you’re 80% ready, move.  Whatever advantage you gain by using the time and resources to gain the other 20% will usually not compensate for what you’ve lost. Learn More »

Telephone Negotiations

By Mark Jankowski

In our seminars, we are often asked how to be more effective while negotiating over the telephone.  Being prepared is a key element in any negotiation.  For instance, if you were heading into a three-hour negotiation session, you would have likely spent the prior day assembling materials and creating an agenda.  At the very least, you would have had an opportunity to gather your thoughts on the way to the meeting.

The problem with telephone negotiations is that sometimes you can be caught off guard.  It is possible that you may be completely involved in another matter when the other side calls to engage you in a negotiation session.  You can assume that they have had the opportunity to prepare and have all the pertinent material in front of them.  Far too often the tendency is to “wing-it” and enter into the telephone negotiation without any preparation.  We strongly suggest that you resist the temptation and try the following: Learn More »

I Kid You Not

By David Ryback, Ph.D.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of best-selling Blink, describes this ability to see the true emotions despite attempts at lying.  We do it so automatically and unconsciously, we feel as if we’re reading others’ minds. Actually, writes Gladwell, “there is enough accessible information in a face to make everyday mind reading possible.  When someone tells us ‘I love you,’ we look immediately and directly at him or her because by looking at the face, we can know—or, at least we can know a great deal more—about whether the sentiment is genuine.” Learn More »

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