Negotiation Tactic #60 – Investing Time

Summary: Getting a counterpart to spend time on a negotiation to strengthen her commitment to it.

Getting a counterpart to invest time in a negotiation gives you leverage. The more time people put into any endeavor, the more committed they become to the outcome, even when the outcome is not in their best interests.


I recently bought a TV I had spent about two hours at the store listening to the options and benefits of the various TV’s being sold and was ready to buy. But when the store clerk was entering the sale into the computer, she discovered that the desired model was no longer available. Rather than start all over again, I quickly made a second choice. After two hours, there was no way I was going home without a new TV!


Several possible counters were available to me. Utilizing Asking a Closed-Ended Question, I could have asked, “When will the TV be in stock?” Or, “Which of your other stores currently has this TV available?” I could have also suggested that the clerk Sweeten the Deal, saying, “I will go ahead and buy this other TV that I do not like as much if you will throw in an extended warranty for my inconvenience.”

Have you used or encountered this tactic in your negotiations? If so, how’d it go?

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