In terms of business culture, Australians are known to be rather straightforward and honest in negotiations. It is true; we prefer open and constructive communication and putting all cards on the table. We do successful business around the world, but this business does not include throat-cutting as a necessary element.
This is why it is extremely important to be versed in shrewd negotiation approaches other business entities may use and to equip your team with tools to counter these approaches. The temptation to bully into a bargain is too strong sometimes, so being ready to oppose such behaviour is a key to leading even the most complicated talks.
Don’t Be That Salami On The Table
One such indecorous approach that is often used is ‘salami tactics.’ It means that instead of demanding all at once, requirements are put forward one by one, in disguise, like thin slices being cut from a salami piece. Giving in on a small issue may not seem a problem to the ‘sliced’ party, but when put together, these slices amount to a whole deal lost in the favour of a ‘slicer.’
To avoid this problem, attend yourself and make your team attend some good practical training where everyone will experience the ‘slicing’ attempts in a safe environment. It helps better than reading hundreds of pages on this process. You can find this negotiation training in Melbourne or other big cities or book them in the online version. However, the key here is hands-on practice, getting into the skin of that ‘salami’ and then learning how to avoid its fate.
Key Steps To Take To Counter This Tactics
Before you delve into the details of detection and counteraction at the training, let’s look briefly at what you can and should do when you face the ‘salami’ negotiation bullying or want to avoid it at all.
- – prepare well in advance your position and draft their potential demands and your response to them;
- – by foreseeing their strong and weak sides and needs you reduce their power-base from which the other party may try to put pressure on you;
- – have a clear list of what constitutes necessary accomplishments (no thing – no deal) and what can be sacrificed or be a point of compromise during the talks;
- – clarify with the opposing team if they have the last word authority, i.e. what they say in negotiations is a binding contractual obligation that does not require endorsement from anyone else.
Now you are ready to get to the table. What to do if the opposing team actually tries to slice you up? Show them that you see their plans and that you are far out of their league.
- – Demand that their requirements are listed in full before you proceed with negotiations, it will help to prevent them from adding up new and new requests. Once they start doing it, you will know that they are trying to get more than they are entitled to.
- – Make your demands high because the opposite party will do the same. So you both will be giving up something and will reach the middle agreement that is actually the solution you strive for.
- – Do not give anything in exchange for nothing; your concession, however small, should be met by the same level concession, and immediately.
- – Bring up their additional demands, even casual or incidental, and highlight them as unacceptable because of costs and undue pressure they put on you. It will signal that you are alert to ‘slicing.’
- – Keep notes or recordings of your talks. It will help you track the progress of negotiations and see if what was said earlier is not being renegotiated.
With due training and preparation, you will be ready to face even the toughest and trickiest negotiations and lead them in the direction beneficial for you. Thus, learn, practice, and let your skills and sound reasoning rule in the next talks!