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Our Favorite Negotiation Strategies and Tactics Used by Successful Consultants

Discover the most effective negotiation strategies and tactics employed by successful consultants to achieve favorable outcomes in business deals and partnerships.

Pollen Team

Table of contents

BATNA: Best alternative to a negotiated agreement

One of the most powerful tools in a consultant's negotiation toolkit is the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, or BATNA. It's like your hidden ace in the hole, your secret weapon that gives you confidence and power in a negotiation.

  • Understand your BATNA: Your BATNA is the most advantageous alternative that you can take if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be made. It's that back-up plan that keeps you from settling for less than you deserve.
  • Use your BATNA strategically: Your BATNA isn't just for you to know, it's a card you can play in negotiations. For instance, if you're negotiating a contract with a client and they're not meeting your terms, revealing that you have another client waiting in the wings can push them to offer better terms.
  • Don't reveal your BATNA too soon: Timing is everything in negotiations, and revealing your BATNA too early in the process can backfire. It's a powerful tool, but one that should be used strategically and sparingly.

This strategy is commonly used by consultants, as mentioned in 5 common consultant negotiation tactics and how to protect .... It's a great way to ensure that you're always in a position of power in negotiations. So, next time you're preparing for a negotiation, ask yourself: Do you have a favorite negotiation strategy or tactic? If not, consider making BATNA your go-to move. Remember, in the game of negotiations, it's always better to have a strategy than to be left scrambling.

Anchoring: Setting the tone for negotiation

Now that you've got your BATNA in your back pocket, let's move on to another crucial strategy: anchoring. Simply put, anchoring is all about setting the tone for the negotiation by making the first offer.

  • Make the first move: The power of anchoring lies in being the first to put a number on the table. This number sets the benchmark for the rest of the negotiation, and most subsequent discussions will revolve around this anchor.
  • Set your anchor high (or low): It's in your best interest to start with a number that's on the higher end of your expectation range. If you're selling, set your anchor high; if you're buying, set it low. This gives you room to negotiate and still achieve a favorable outcome.
  • Anchor with confidence: Your anchor won't be effective if you don't deliver it with confidence. Remember, you're setting the tone for the negotiation, so be firm and assertive with your initial offer.

Anchoring is a powerful negotiation tactic used by successful consultants, and it's your answer to the question, "Do you have a favorite negotiation strategy or tactic?" As referenced in What's Your Negotiation Strategy?, anchoring can help you control the negotiation process and steer it in a direction that's favorable to you.

Remember, negotiation is all about psychology, and anchoring is a psychological tactic that can give you an upper hand in your next negotiation. So, do you have a favorite negotiation strategy or tactic? If not, anchoring is a strategy worth considering.

The flinch: Reacting to an offer

We've covered BATNA and anchoring, but what happens when you're on the receiving end of an offer? That's where the flinch comes in. The flinch is a non-verbal tactic used to express surprise or dissatisfaction with an offer. It's a way to communicate, without words, that you were expecting something different.

  • Keep it subtle: A successful flinch is more about a slight change in facial expression than a dramatic gasp. The goal is to subtly convey your surprise, not to startle the other party.
  • Timing is key: The impact of a flinch lies in its immediacy. As soon as the other party makes their offer, that's your cue to flinch. Delaying your reaction could diminish its effect.
  • Control your surprise: Even if an offer truly surprises you, it's important to control your reaction. A flinch is a strategic tool, not a knee-jerk response.

According to 15 Smart Negotiating Techniques For Business Professionals, the flinch is an effective way to make the other party reconsider their offer.

So, do you have a favorite negotiation strategy or tactic? If not, the subtle art of the flinch might be a good place to start. After all, a well-timed flinch can change the course of a negotiation, making it a favorite among successful consultants.

The nibble: Asking for small extras after agreement

After mastering the flinch, let's move on to another effective negotiation tactic - the nibble. This is a strategy often used after the main negotiation is seemingly over. The nibble is a request for a small concession or extra that wasn't part of the original agreement.

  • Be reasonable: When asking for a nibble, make sure it's something small and reasonable. You don't want to appear greedy or risk the other party backing out of the agreement.
  • Timing is important: Just like the flinch, timing is crucial when it comes to the nibble. This tactic is used after the main negotiation is over, but before the final agreement is signed.
  • Be prepared for a no: When you ask for a nibble, you should be prepared for the possibility that the other party will say no. However, the fact that you've already reached an agreement on the main points may make them more likely to grant your small request.

According to 4 Types of Negotiation Strategies (With Tips and Examples), the nibble is a tactic often used by successful negotiators.

If you are still wondering "do I have a favorite negotiation strategy or tactic?", consider the nibble. It can be a powerful tool to add a little extra to your agreement, solidifying its place as a favorite among seasoned consultants.

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