How the Pros Deal with 3 Dirty Sales Negotiation Tactics

sales negotiation dirty tactics

An Example of Dirty Sales Negotiation Tactics
My friend’s father ran a used car dealership.  To my chagrin, they used the stereotypical and dirty sales negotiation tactics you would see in movies or read about in cartoons.

One day when picking him up for a trip at his dad’s office, I learned that most of our fears associated with used car salesmen and their dirty sales negotiation tactics are true.  I was shocked to learn their sales people placed recording devices in every office.

When they told their prospective buyers that they were going to check with their boss, they went into another room, had a soft drink and listened to the private conversation that would ensue to determine their sales negotiation strategy and tactics.  While I’m told that no longer happens…

The Best Negotiation Strategy is to Be Prepared
Whenever you are in sales negotiations, you should be prepared for a few dirty sales negotiation tricks from the other side. Hopefully you won’t encounter them but in case you do here are some “counters” that will bring you all back to the table and provide better chances for a win-win agreement:

Three Sales Negotiation Counter-Tactics That Work

#1 Starting with an Unreasonable Offer.
This dirty sales negotiation trick begins with unreasonable demands and continues with less and less unreasonable requests until the besieged side finally acquiesces…tired of saying no and landing somewhere in “the middle”. Many sales negotiation experts use this technique to “anchor” the negotiation in their favor.  Anchoring is the cognitive bias that occurs when people rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.

For example, my friend’s father instructed his sales team to always make an initial low-ball offer when buying a used car to set the tone for the rest of the sales negotiation.  This enabled them to eventually offer less even though the unsuspecting seller felt they had done a good job getting a “higher than originally offered” price.

There are three well-know counter tactics for dealing with an aggressive negotiation anchor.

  • The first is to reject their anchor as being too extreme to form a basis to mutually negotiate.
  • The second is to ask effective questions to better clarify their offer.  Your objective is to understand the other party’s position and motivations without letting their anchor set the tone or control the agenda.
  • The third is to offer a similarly aggressive anchor of your own.

The three approaches can also be combined.  Whichever tactic you choose, the more information you have about what matters most to your buyer and what the market values – the better.

#2  Asking for just one more thing.
Sales negotiation training experts tell you to beware of the last minute request. This comes just as you are prepared to wrap up the deal. This tactic is typically either a sign of incompetence or a tactic to test if they are getting the best deal possible. The worst thing you can do at this point is to give in without getting something of equal value in return.

Counter this tactic by reconfirming your value, stating they are getting the best deal and making sure they know there is no agreement until everything is agreed to and finalized.

#3  Checking with a higher authority.
All seems good until the other side says they just have to check with their boss. This should never happen.

Counter this tactic by establishing upfront that you are dealing with the final decision maker and clearly understand the decision making process and decision making criteria.

Want to better prepare your sales team to negotiate?  Download the 2 Research-Backed Sales Negotiation Tactics that You Will Face 97% of the Time to learn more.

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