It may sound strange but there are times when you can win more negotiations by appearing to be odd and scary than meek and mild.
Depending on the person with whom you’re negotiating, this tactic can have a debilitating effect on them. The reason for that is, some folks don’t know how to deal with an odd and/or scary force. During such hesitation when they’re in deliberation mood as to how they should respond, you have the opportunity to alter their thought process per how they deal and interact with you. Doing so can alter the way they interact with you for life.
The following is a situation in which you might consider employing the ‘odd and scary’ negotiation strategy or in a situation that’s similar.
You’re up against a rough and tough negotiator. His actions might be interpreted as those of a bully. He’s a ‘Hard/Closed’ type negotiator and possesses an, ‘I win, you lose’ mentality.
With this type of negotiator, you must be mentally prepared to display the strength and insights that will impress him; if he were to holler at you, it would behoove you to holler back. You might be thinking, won’t that cause things to escalate, which in turn can feed the potential for an impasse? If such a thought captured your attention, you’re right. You can possibly be placing the negotiation in jeopardy, but think about the alternatives. The more you allow yourself to be pushed, the greater the probability that a negotiator of this type will push you. Thus, the timing of your response has to be precise. It should be delivered when least expected to have the greatest impact.
A friend of mine, David Dadian that owns an IT solution business, related a story that solicited such a response with one of his company’s clients. In one situation, a client attempted to bully David and a member of his staff by citing remarks that were unflattering. David being a very gentlemanly type of person initially didn’t offer a rebuttal; he was poker-faced. After the client’s tirades begun to subside, David launched into tirades of his own. He gave the client every bit of what he’d received. The client became melancholy and did not attempt to taunt or deride David after that.
In assessing what possibly occurred in the client’s mind, one can consider that the client was not prepared for David’s retort, especially offered in the manner that it was delivered. Thus, the client may have perceived David to be scary (i.e. David’s personality had changed to becoming somewhat unrecognizable from that which the client had known David to possess). From that, the client may have deduced that David’s behavior and mannerisms had become odd, one in which the client was unaccustomed to being spoken to. The one thing that’s certain, based on the client’s reaction and following actions, David gained control of the negotiation with his actions.
In negotiations, you will be tested. Since negotiations are likened to chess, the types of moves you make during a negotiation session influence what will occur later in the negotiation. As such, by employing the odd and scary tactic into your negotiation, you can alter the possibility of negative maneuverings by the opposing negotiator, simply because he perceives you as being weak. Even if you never have to employ this tactic, having it in your tool of negotiation weapons should embolden you during your negotiations… and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating.