Negotiation Tactic #77 – The Decoy

Summary: Making a big issue of something unimportant in order to gain a concession that matters more.

With The Decoy, you make a big issue of something you don’t care much about when you are really after something else more important to you.


You’re buying a new copier and you strike a deal. The only option the copier doesn’t have is the ability to email files, which the dealer agrees to install for you. When you are getting ready to sign the papers, the dealer informs you that it will take a month to get the copier ready. Although the time frame is not that important to you, you make a big issue of it, hoping that the dealer will make another price concession. In fact, you even tell the dealer you will go somewhere else if he can’t make the long wait worth your while.


If he suspects your motives, the dealer can utilize Uncovering the Real Reason to expose your tactic. Other options are Apparent Withdrawal and These Boots Are Made for Walking.

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

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