Negotiation Tactic #83 – Providing Negative Information

Summary: Using negative information about a competitor to affect a counterpart’s decision.

Sometimes you can change the power and direction of a negotiation simply by Providing Negative Information.


A saleswoman is making a product presentation to a customer, who eventually says he’s thinking about buying the product from ABC Company, one of the saleswoman’s competitors. The saleswoman has read a great deal of negative information and reviews about ABC’s service, financial stability, and product quality. So she tells the customer, “Before you make a final decision, I recommend that you read these reviews on ABC Company.”


The customer has to do his homework and verify everything the salesperson says. The salesperson will undoubtedly weigh the negative information about the competitor’s product to be favorable to her own company. The customer should ask the saleswoman to explain why her product is superior to the competitor’s, and substantiate her claims. If the customer is really interested in ABS Company’s product, he should provide them with the opportunity to answer the negative claims made by both the saleswoman and online sources.

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

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