Example of a seller's intransigence

In the practice of INVMAG, there was a case of difficult negotiations. On one side was the salesman - a 75-year-old grandfather who was tired of running the company and wanted to sell it. Even if he had the strength, he wouldn't do it. Therefore, the position was: “I can sell or not sell.”

On the other side, there was a buyer who wanted to negotiate the terms of the deal, offering a price that was 10% lower than the price originally set.

But the seller, setting out everything in a meaningless stream of words (one of his answers could last more than 20 minutes), reduced the negotiations to the fact that the price is unchanged.

In such situations, there are several options for behavior.

Firstly, before you sit down to negotiate with anyone, you must do some work for yourself.

  1. Formulate your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). If you are a buyer, you must tell yourself that you will not accept more than your BATNA.
  2. Gather information about the seller and try to rate his BATNA. Try to understand what will happen to him if he doesn`t reach an agreement with you. Understand his goals.
  3. Negotiate rationally and don`t let the other party negotiate with aggressive or manipulative attacks. The grandfather from the example used several tactics: take it or leave it, and snowball, when a person drowns another in a huge number of meaningless words. Read about the most insidious negotiation tactics here.

If you think that your position is strong enough and for some reason think that the opposition is weak, you can show that you perfectly understand that they are using aggressive tactics. In the example, the buyer didn`t know about the salesman`s BATNA, and the seller himself didn`t even realize he was doing it.

This situation didn't end well for the seller. A few months later, the grandfather reduced the asking price by 50% (and initially the buyer asked him to reduce it by only 10%, but he refused). The take it-or-leave it tactic was either a bluff or a basic misunderstanding of his own business.

The second option of behavior: agree to any conditions while stipulating that all this will be reviewed after due diligence. When due diligence is completed, conducting additional negotiations will be possible knowing the exact BATNA of the seller.

It will be possible to put his documents on the table to confirm his position. If he cannot explain the identified problems or refute them, then you will say that “the rational price is such and such”.

The chances of the seller agreeing to your terms are 50%. Some continue to persist in their stand or wait for not very attentive buyers who will agree to their initial conditions.

For rational negotiation, remember:

Как себя вести когда противоположная сторона отказывается уступать 3

  • Preparing for negotiations, namely the BATNA clarification, is the key to your ability to conduct rational negotiations.
  • The ability to recognize aggressive and manipulative tactics will enable you to conduct defensive measures. These can be either an indication of unacceptable behavior or of secretly rearranging their tactics. But it is critical to know when these tactics are being practiced on you.
  • Most negotiations are very drawn out. They consist of several stages, where dozens of parameters are negotiated. Depending on how you assess the prospects of the enterprise, you may not insist strongly on your position, realizing that during the audit you will be able to assess the realities of the company.

To be successful in negotiating and resisting aggressive and manipulative tactics, you should take our negotiation class. Read our article on how to improve your negotiating position.

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