Business Development Series Posted by David McDermott

Our last article certainly created a bit of a buzz. As we mentioned, there is a lot of interest in dirty tricks used in negotiations and your request for more has prompted this follow up.

The last set of dirty tricks were designed to get you to reveal your ‘fallback’ as a starting position. The following tactics are used to get more out of the other party, often after the deal has been agreed.

Here are three more tactics you might encounter where the other person seeks to get much more out of the deal. We have also identified ways to countermeasure.

1. Nibbles

This is where a fee is agreed, and extras are added to the agreed fee. Typically, a buyer would say, “We can agree on this fee, going forward we would like monthly performance reports, access to your training resources and of course, you will need to be our dedicated account manager.” Sellers would typically say, “Of course that fee does not include…” and proceed to list a load of extras. Nibbles tend to work because of the desire to get the deal done. Resist the temptation. An appropriate countermeasure is to revisit the add-ons and ask for something in return. Sellers can also benefit from a published price list.

2. Breakdowns
Usually a buyer will request a detailed cost breakdown so they can negotiate on individual components in the belief that they will gain significantly more than the seller had intended. The guideline here is buyers should ask for a breakdown, sellers should avoid giving one. As a countermeasure, sellers should inform the other party that everything is costed into the price.

3. Bogey deal
They say a little flattery goes a long way. That is why this tactic is often successful. It works like this – a seller may have given their fallback of £30,000. Typically a buyer would say, “We really like what you have to offer and can see real value in it. The problem is that we only have £25,000 in the budget.” It is best to be firm here and have an alternative package in mind e.g. offer less for that price or get them to do things for themselves.

Remember, no deal is better than a bad deal. You can always walk away on moral grounds.

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