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Linking

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Linking

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you are building agreements, link items together, building a web of commitment.

Use the word 'if...' a lot. Say 'If you...then I...'.

In particular link the things they want with the things that you want.

Link in consequences as well. Use words such as 'otherwise'.

Also link in things that are not wanted. Make agreements conditional upon things being achieved. If they fail to deliver, then you can choose to call the whole deal off.

You can link weak issues with strong ones, making it conditional that gaining the main item means also gaining a number of other smaller items.

Example

In a performance-related agreement with staff, a pay rise is agreed to be given only if employee productivity increases to a given level.

If you give me a 25% discount, then I will buy today, with cash, otherwise I might come back next week with a credit card.

I will only go where you want if I can bring my mother. If you go where I want, then we can go alone, just the two of us.

Governments will add small items to larger bills, such that as the main item gets voted into law, a few small but very useful extras get towed along as well.

Discussion

Linking shows cause and effect, answering the question 'why' and allowing the other person to predict.

Linking is also associative, connecting things together by rule of meaning or general connective thought process. Associative connections are not necessarily causal, even if they appear so.

Linking shows them the route to what they want, linking benefit and method. By highlighting their needs, they may be so focused on these that your needs seem less significant.

Linking strong and weak items, the contrast between them makes the weak item seem insignificant and so it gets a free ride.

See also

Cause-and-effect reasoning, Connection Language, Association principle

 

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