Summary: Trying to influence a deal point by offering the ideal way to fulfill all of a counterpart’s needs.
When your counterpart lays a proposal, solution, or deal point on the table, it’s a good idea to test how strongly that counterpart feels about his or her position. One great way to do this is to offer your counterpart The Perfect Solution.
A general contractor provides a proposal to build a patio and barbecue for a homeowner for $15,000. When the contractor states the price, the homeowner responds that he doesn’t want to spend any more than $12,000. The contractor replies, “If I could design and build for you The Perfect Solution to all your patio and barbecue needs, would you be able to come up with the additional $3,000?”
The homeowner could counter with the tactic of the Higher Authority, blaming the budget on his wife, equity line of credit, or someone or something else with decision-making power. Second, he could utilize the tactic of Asking an Open-Ended Question and ask the contractor, “If I can’t find an additional $3,000, what would you recommend I do?” Third, he might try the Reward in Heaven tactic, suggesting, “If you could build the patio and barbecue for close to $12,000, I will be a great reference for you in years to come.” Fourth, he could ask the contractor for a breakdown of the costs to see if there are any parts of the project he could do himself.
Have you used or encountered this tactic in your negotiations? If so, how’d it go?