Friday, August 17, 2007

Negotiating Is Just One Big Dance

So keep on playing those mind games together
Doing the ritual dance in the sun

- John Lennon

I have a price negotiation going on that I compared to dating. I am playing hard-to-get against a suiter who is definitely interested and who hasn't walked away even after I gave him a brush-off about a month ago.

But now that I am coming around, he is playing mind games of his own, constantly moving meetings on me and screwing with my travel schedule. In the Jim Camp negotiation book this is about "driving the schedule", and a way to get the other side to commit resources to a negotiation. These resources can be time, money, effort, emotion, and so on, with each one having a different "multiplier". The more resources put into a negotiation (times the multiplier) the harder it us to walk away (time and money are the hardest for an organization to walk away from, emotion the easiest).

So the more you can get the other side to invest, the more leverage you will have in the negotiation. It's just one big dance.

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