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Interim trade

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Interim trade

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you are stuck in a negotiation because something is wanted by the other side but which you do not want to give (or are unable to obtain), indicate that they will be able to get what they want, in order to get them moving.

Then, later, remove or otherwise minimize that thing which was 'conceded'. For example:

  • Try ignoring it in the final agreement.
  • Claim to have misunderstood the original request.
  • Give less that what might have been originally expected.
  • Reinterpret the commitment and give something else.
  • Negotiate the point away in a trade for something else.
  • Include the item in the agreement, but just do not deliver it.

Example

Yes, I'm sure I can get that for you. I'll look into it when I get back home (where you call back and apologize that it just isn't possible now).

Of course -- let's include it in the final agreement (where it gets conveniently forgotten).

I don't see why not. Now, let's move on to the main agenda. (later -- oh, I'm sorry, I thought you meant...)

Discussion

Sometimes people get stuck on a demand that actually is not that important. They become personally invested in it to the point where they feel they will lose face if they concede. Your concession on this point thus lets them move on to the next topic. If the point was not really important, then they will not notice or object to its later removal or minimization.

When there are a lot of sub-items in the negotiated item, for example a construction contract then you can often quietly drop in convenient things without them being noticed.

See also

Attention principle, Distraction principle

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