Negotiation is a powerful skill that helps you advocate for yourself in both your personal and professional life. Whether you are negotiating your salary or your cable bill, it’s important to learn how to negotiate effectively in order to achieve what’s best for your position. There are several ways to go about negotiating a deal. The most ideal situation is to communicate effectively between both parties in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. While this is definitely the ideal situation, that doesn’t mean it’s always possible. Some negotiators realize that hard bargaining tactics have their own place at the negotiating table. Though hard bargaining may not be the most popular strategy, there are times when it simply is the most effective. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly constitutes hard bargaining tactics and why they might need to be employed.
What are Hard Bargaining Tactics?
Hard bargaining is probably the most recognizable type of negotiation. When most people think of hard bargaining, they picture someone slamming their fist on the table making ultimatums and demands. Hard bargaining tactics are often described as threats, extreme demands, or even unethical behavior, which is used to gain the upper hand in a negotiation. While there is some truth to this description, hard bargaining tactics do not always involve betrayal and harsh antics. The truth is, hard bargaining tactics do involve a battle of the wills and it usually emphasizes results. Hard negotiators are typically unwilling to concede, focusing solely on their position. That said, there is still a time and place when hard bargaining tactics can be useful.
When to Use Hard Bargaining Tactics
The outcome of a negotiation is largely determined by the negotiator’s tactics. Different approaches will yield different results. Here are a few instances where hard bargaining tactics can be necessary.
- When you absolutely MUST get your desired outcome
If you are negotiating a deal that you know will only go through if your demands are met, you might need to employ hard bargaining tactics. For example, if you know you will only take the job if you get X amount for your salary, you might be willing to negotiate with hard tactics. You can let the manager know that you MUST get your desired salary or you will have to pass on the job.
- When you know you will never have to deal with the other party again
A great example is when you go to purchase a car. You are likely to haggle on the price and make demands or ultimatums because ultimately you,as the customer, have the upper hand. You are willing to walk away but the car dealer certainly doesn’t want to lose the sale. Given that you will likely never have to deal with the car salesman again, you might do better to employ hard bargaining tactics.
- When you are negotiating with a soft negotiator
Soft negotiators are often steamrolled by hard negotiators. They are more likely to cave and give ground in an effort to preserve good will. These negotiations almost always end in a win for the hard negotiator.