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Double Agent

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Double Agent

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Persuade someone on the other side of the table to act on your behalf.

Get them to provide useful inside information to you that will help your negotiations. Give them information and materials to help them persuade their colleagues to your point of view.

Protect their position, ensuring that they do not get into trouble for their views and actions.

Example

A computer salesperson convinces the IT department of the need to upgrade their systems. Now all they need to do is to also convince the purchasing, finance and general managers.

A man wants to buy a particular new house and enlists the help of the selling agent in persuading his family of the benefits of the house and the area.

A car sales person speaks privately to a customer's partner to get them to provide useful information about the customer.

Discussion

This situation legitimately occurs when a person on the other side genuinely is persuaded and seeks to help others on their side also see the benefits of the deal.

In a less salubrious variant, deliberate actions are taken to blackmail or bribe the target person, or otherwise subvert an individual to your cause.

Beware of double agents on your side. Watch for people who seem over-zealous in taking up the cause of the other side.

See also

The Annotated Art of War (Parts 13.4-6: Foreknowledge), The Annotated Art of War (Parts 13.14-20: Using Spies)

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