In the Star Wars saga, “The Force” can be used for good or evil, depending on who’s wielding the power and how it’s utilized. While types of negotiation tactics may not have the power to move heavy objects or control the mind, they can be instrumental in achieving a mutually beneficial outcome to a business to business transaction. They can mean the difference between successfully moving a deal forward and getting taken advantage of from a manipulative buyer.
Collaborative tactics are ones that help get to a mutually beneficial outcome and enhance the value of the relationship. Manipulative tactics are ones that take advantage of the other party or trick the other side into conceding. We’re typically more familiar with manipulative tactics because we have all seen them in play at used car lots, with pushy product salesmen or with vacation timeshare pitches. There are also some tactics that can be used either collaboratively or manipulatively depending on the context.
Leveraging collaborative negotiation tactics with your customers will likely result in higher customer loyalty, repeat business, longer terms of engagement, and a high lifetime value.
Highly strategic accounts are best served by engaging the buyer with collaborative negotiation tactics.
Manipulative tactics are often used when there is no value in a longer term relationship (one-time transaction). The seller is only interested in getting the deal done and may take advantage or “trick” the buyer into accepting the deal. This doesn’t form the basis for a positive long-term business to business relationship.
Not every negotiator (even in a business to business transaction) will approach the negotiation with a collaborative mindset. It’s important to be able to both recognize and deal with manipulative tactics you encounter. There are literally dozens of these different tactics that we discuss in our Value Driven Negotiation Workshop, but the tables below provide a few examples of Collaborative, Neutral and Manipulative Tactics and discusses appropriate Countermeasures.
Example Collaborative Tactics:
Example Neutral Tactics (can be used either to collaborate or manipulate):
Example Manipulative Tactics:
By learning to identify and name the appropriate tactic, you can begin to take away some of the power of that tactic. This also puts you in a better position to respond appropriately. Tactics can be used for good or evil, much like the force.