Negotiation Tactic #86 – Flattery or Sweet Talk

Summary: Appealing to a counterpart’s ego.

One effective way to gain leverage in a negotiation is to use Flattery or Sweet Talk. When used effectively, flattery has the impact of motivating the counterpart to respond.


The president of a nonprofit corporation asks a speaker to give the opening address at the organization’s fundraising dinner. The president begins his request with the statement, “Although I don’t have the budget to pay you, I need a great speaker and you are the best I know.” This type of flattery, combined with the opportunity to do something for a worthy cause, makes the request hard for the speaker to turn down.


If the flattery seems sincere, the speaker should express her appreciation. But, it’s important for her to be able to set the flattery aside when making a decision. If she wants to counter the offer, she can emphasize the importance or value of her speaking skills. A second option would be to ask for some compensation other than money such as a free advertisement in the program for the fundraiser.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular on the blog
beyond-engagement-cover_184x228Free White Paper Beyond Engagement:  8 Proven Strategies to Workplace Excellence

Learn how your organization can achieve results through Workplace Excellence

Download Now

The Manager's Toolkit

The Manager's Toolkit is the one stop action planning website for becoming an even stronger, more effective leader. Managers will read recommendations, related articles, suggested actions, and watch informative videos that will guide them through improving their leadership skills.

Client LoginLearn More