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HBR Guide to Negotiating by Jeff Weiss

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Chapter 11

Tame the Hard Bargainer

Shift the conversation.

The Problem

You’ve worked hard to prepare for the negotiation, and you’re ready to enter the circle of value. But every time you try to better understand your counterpart’s interests or jointly brainstorm options, he resists. Rather than following your approach, he’s wedded to using typical negotiation tactics: laying out his position, making threats, and waiting for you to make concessions. He dismisses your questions about what’s driving his demands, saying instead, “That’s not relevant. I want what I want.”

Take, for example, Ruben, a salesperson trying to sell a large piece of equipment to George, his potential customer. George makes an opening demand: “I’m going to need a 10% discount.” ...

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