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In a perfect world, your bargaining partner is as invested in your interests as you are in theirs. The reality is you may often deal with people who are argumentative and try to win at all costs. They actually enjoy crushing their opponent, you. So what you do when your bargaining partner is less than cooperative? The variety of tactics available to achieve your negotiation goals is nearly infinite, so let's talk about the strongest and most effective means of dealing with the lack of corporation.
If you sense that your negotiation is likely to be pretty hard ball, you might want to prepare by crafting a side deal first. Do your research and come to the table with options. Having a backup plan is not only smart, but can give you a real advantage. For example, if you're a consultant, and you've just landed a contract with your top grade, use that agreement to position yourself at the top of the bargaining range with your next client. Next, do your best to match your partner's conversation style.
As you settle into the conversation, notice: is your bargaining partner relying on story, technical information like statistics, or how about cultural values? Whatever the case, match style for style. If you still feel at a loss, at least acknowledge that you might be talking past one another and ask how you might get on the same page. If you're still running into a road block, remember meet fire with fire. It may be time to set aside the conversation and come back to it later.
In any case, be willing to out-wait your bargaining partner, and remember, the most powerful negotiation tactic is silence.
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