The Negotiator Magazine

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That's negotiating two on one, which is not good, but you go ahead and everything appears to be going along fine. You feel that you have a good chance of closing the sale, until the president suddenly starts getting irritated. Eventually he says to his vice president, "Look, I don't think these people are interested in making a serious proposal to us. I'm sorry, but I've got things to do." Then he storms out of the room.

This really shakes you up if you're not used to negotiating. Then the vice-president says, "Wow. Sometimes he gets that way, but I really like the plan that you presented, and I think we can still work this out. If you could be a little more flexible on your price, then I think we can still put it together. Tell you what-why don't you let me see what I can do for you with him?"

If you don't realize what they're doing to you, you'll hear yourself say something like, "What do you think the president would agree to?" Then it won't be long before you'll have the vice-president negotiating for you-and he or she is not even on your side.

If you think I'm exaggerating on this one, consider this: Haven't you, at one time or another, said to a car salesperson, "What do you think you could get your sales manager to agree to?" As if the salesperson is on your side, not on theirs? Haven't we all at one time been buying real estate and have found the property we want to buy, so we say to the agent that has been helping us find the property, "What do you think the sellers would take?" Let me ask you something. Who is your agent working for? Who is paying her? It's not you, is it? She is working for the seller and yet she has effectively played Good Guy/Bad Guy with us. So, look out for it, because you run into it a lot.

Power Negotiators use several Counter-Gambits to Good Guy/Bad Guy:

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