When The Other Side Knows Everything, Give Them Very Little

by drjim on October 16, 2015

Share as little as possible when the other side knows it all

Share as little as possible when the other side knows it all
Image Credit: darwin Bell

Every time that we sit down to negotiate with someone, we are encountering a new personality with new negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. When we run into someone who believes that they know everything we can use this to get what we want from the negotiation. All you have to do is to remember that they think that they know everything and so you don’t have to share very much with them.

No Arguments

When you encounter somebody who thinks that they know everything, you are going to have to move carefully. It is entirely possible that you may view this person as being very arrogant and difficult to work with. You are going to have to get over those feelings if you want to reach a deal with them. Most importantly, you are going to want to avoid getting into any head-to-head arguments with them. Their personality will not allow them to lose that kind of confrontation – you are never going to win that discussion so stay away from it.

Instead, you are going to want to take a different path when you come to issues that you are not seeing eye-to-eye with them on. Specifically, you are going to want to take the time to stroke the other side of the table’s ego. By doing this, you’ll be able to make them think that they are in control of the negotiations and this is going to make it easier for you to gain concessions from them.

Leverage The Other Side’s Knowledge

In this type of negotiation there will be times that you’ll encounter a situation where you are discussing a point that you are going to want to win. This is going to require that you take special action in order to get your way. This is going to be a situation where less detail is going to be better for you.

You are not going to want to “sell” your viewpoint to this type of negotiator. Instead, what you are going to want to do is to appeal to their sense of superior knowledge. You can use phrases like “… you know what is typical on this type of issue You’ve probably done this many times before. How about if I just send you the language that you are familiar with and we’ll use that…” When you do this, you box him or her in. When they get what you’ve sent to them, there is no way that they can admit that they’ve never seen it before – remember they know everything. There is a good chance that the other side will just approve it and move on.

What All Of This Means For You

When you find yourself in a principled negotiation in which the other side of the table believes that they know more than you do, you need to realize that you can use this to your advantage. What they don’t realize is just how much you know.

You don’t want to get into arguments with the other side about who is right and who is wrong. Instead, you are going to want to avoid arguments by referring to what the other side believes that they already know.

In order to be successful in a negotiation you are going to have to take the time to “read” the other side. If they think that they know more than you do, then you need to use this to get what you want out of the negotiation. You’ll never get what you want by arguing with the other side, instead you need to out think them!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If an argument starts with the other side, what would be the best way to go about defusing it?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The reason that we negotiate is because we want to have a discussion with the other side of the table in order to determine if we are going to be able to reach a deal with them. Generally this process goes fairly well: we sit down, we negotiate, we either reach a deal or we don’t. Where things can go wrong is when we encounter someone who has difficulty making decisions. In this situation, there’s a very good chance that no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use, we’re not going to be able wrap this negotiation up!

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