Thursday, January 20, 2011

Simple Negotiation Expression: You'll have to do better than that!

The Vise is a very effective negotiating gambit, and what it will do for you will amaze you.

The Vise gambit is the simple little expression:
"You'll have to do better than that."

Here's how Power Negotiators use it:
Let's say that you own a small steel company that sells steel products in bulk. You are calling on a fabricating plant where the buyer has listened to your proposal and your pricing structure. You ignored his insistence that he's happy with his present supplier, and you did a good job of building desire for your product.

Finally, the other person says to you,
"I'm really happy with our present vendor, but I guess it wouldn't do any harm to have a backup supplier to keep them on their toes. I'll take one carload if you can get the price down to $1.22 per pound."

You respond with the Vise gambit by calmly saying,
"I'm sorry, you'll have to do better than that."

An experienced negotiator will automatically respond with the countergambit, which is,
"Exactly how much better than that do I have to do?" trying to pin you down to a specific. However, it will amaze you how often inexperienced negotiators will concede a big chunk of their negotiating range.

What's the next thing that you should do, once you've said, "You'll have to do better than that"? You guessed it. Be quiet! Don't say another word. The other side may just make a concession to you. Salespeople call this the silent close, and they all learn it during the first week that they are in the business. You make your proposal and then shut up. The other person may just say Yes, so it's foolish to say a word until you find out if he or she will or won't.

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