Hey Negotiator, It’s “Crunch Time”

When you run into a negotiating wall, sometimes it becomes crunch time
When you run into a negotiating wall, sometimes it becomes crunch time
Image Credit: Wizetux

So how many times has this happened to you: you are involved in a negotiation and things are moving along just fine with lots of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques being used. Then all of a sudden, you come to a point in the discussion where things just seem to grind to a halt. There is a gap between where you are at and where you want to be. There doesn’t seem to be any way for either party to bridge that gap. When this happens to you, it’s time to bring in the crunch technique.

What Is The Crunch Technique?

The crunch technique is one of the skills that every negotiator needs to have in their bag of tricks. This technique is used to find a way to bridge the gap between two parties when there is a significant gap between their current positions.

Using the crunch technique is actually very simple. When the other side of the table presents you with a proposal that is not acceptable to you, you need to tell them “You’ve got to do better than that”. It’s really that simple. When you say this, the other side will then have to determine if they are going to be willing to make further concessions to you. More often than not, in order to keep the negotiations moving forward, the other side will come back to you with an improved offer.

When the other side does come back with another offer, you can once again tell them “You’ve got to do better than that”. This process can repeat itself until the other side finally says “This is the best deal that I can offer you.” When this happens you’ll need to determine if you are willing to accept it or if you are going to want to start to use some other negotiating technique.

How Can You Defend Against The Crunch Technique?

As powerful as the crunch technique is, you need to realize that the other side of the table can use it against you. When this happens, you are going to have to first realize that it’s happening and then you are going to have to take defensive measures against it. The good news is that it’s actually pretty easy to defend against it.

If the other side of the table tells you “You’ve got to do better than that”, then you need to come back with the response “I’ve offered you a very good deal and a good price. Why do you think that I need to do better than this?” By doing this you are removing the burden of coming up with an answer from your shoulders and placing it squarely back on theirs.

The good news about this response is that it will keep your negotiation moving forward. What you have gone and done now is to start to exert pressure on the other side of the table to create a response to the position that you have taken. By doing this, you may be able to get them to back off from asking you to change your negotiating position.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

In a negotiation, one of the most important things that needs to happen if you want to have any hope of reaching a deal with the other side is that the negotiations always need to keep moving forward. If you encounter a situation where what is being offered is a long way away from what you really want, you’re going to have to find a way to bridge that gap. The crunch technique is a great way to go about doing this.

The crunch technique involves having one side make an offer to the other side and then having that other side state “You’ve got to do better than this”. This powerful technique can often lead to a better offer being made. If this technique is used against you in a negotiation, you can defend against it by causing the other side to respond to your position instead of you having to change it.

The best negotiating techniques are often the simplest ones. The crunch technique is easy to use and almost always gets results. The next time that you find yourself in a principled negotiation in which there is a big gap between the different positions, use the crunch technique to bring yourself a bit closer to reaching a deal with the other side.

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

Question For You: Do you think that the crunch technique could be used multiple times in the same negotiaitons?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I sure do like negotiating! Man, I could negotiate all day long using all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that I’ve learned.. However, as you are well aware, in every negotiation that we participate in, there comes a time when we are done. We’ve given in as much as we are willing to do. Just exactly what should we do now to communicate to the other side of the table that we’re done?