How To Deal With The Bogey Man When He Shows Up In A Negotiation

When the bogey man shows up, you need to be ready to deal with him
When the bogey man shows up, you need to be ready to deal with him

Image Credit: Will Hart

As negotiators we need to always be on guard. We need to expect that the other side of the table will be using a wide variety of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques in order to get the deal that they want. What this means for you is that when the bogey man shows up in your next negotiation, you need to be able to recognize him and be prepared to deal with his arrival.

What The Bogey Man Looks Like

So what is this bogey man technique and how can you recognize it when the other side starts to use it? You will be able to detect that this technique is being used when the person that you are negotiating with tells you that you need to accept the offer that they have put on the table in front of you now. They will tell you that they have other potential buyers who are willing to do the deal, they are just being nice and giving you a first shot at it.

Wow – how very nice of them. When the other side presents you with an ultimatum like this, you are going to have to take it with a grain of salt. There are some very basic questions that you’ll need to give some thought to before you provide them with a response. The first issue that you’ll need to consider is the very fundamental question of just exactly why the other side is still talking with you? I mean, look, if there are other people out there that are willing and eager to sign the deal that he has presented to you, then why hasn’t he just struck a deal with them? Why is he still talking with you?

When the other side decides to present you with the bogey man, you are going to have to be able to evaluate if they are telling the truth or lying to you. If you think that their claim of having other potential buyers is false, then you’ll need to take a very careful look at how they are expressing it to you. You need to understand that if there really was another party who could make a better deal, then the other side wouldn’t be telling you about it. They would have told you goodbye and they’d be off striking a deal with this other party. What possible benefit could there be to him to continue to interact with you if he can get a better deal elsewhere?

How To Deal With The Bogey Man

Once the other side of the table has invited the bogey man to your negotiation, it’s going to be up to you to decide how you want to deal with it. Clearly what is happening here is that the other side is challenging you. They want you to agree to the terms that they have put on the table before you. There is a very good chance that you don’t want to agree to those terms. The negotiation is not over, there is a highly likely probability that you’ll be able to get a better deal if you keep negotiating.

When the bogey man is brought to the negotiating table, you need to do two things. The first thing that you need to do is to turn down the offer that is being presented to you. However, at the same time you need to keep the door open for future negotiations. Tell the other side that if they have someone else who is willing to accept this deal, then they had better go ahead and complete the deal with them. At the same time you want to let them know that if that deal falls through, you are still interested and you’d be willing to continue talking with them.

The reason that the bogey man gets invited to so many negotiations is because this technique works very well. When you can convince people that a deal will go away if they don’t agree to it today, then you’ve won. However, in all reality if the deal did go away, don’t you think that you could quickly find another deal that was as good? If the other side does call you again after having pulled the bogey tactic, you will be in a stronger position. Since they came back, you now know that you are the highest bidder and that means that you can actually lower the price that you are willing to offer!

What All Of This Means For You

When we enter into a negotiation, we need to be ready to deal with whatever the other side is going to throw at us. One of the more common techniques is the Bogey Man technique. When he shows up, you need to know how to handle him.

You’ll be able to recognize when the bogey man technique is being used when the other side tells you that if you don’t accept the deal that they have offered to you that they have other people who will snap it up. What you need to realize is that if this was true, they probably would not be talking with you. At this point you need to let them go. However, take steps to keep the door open and make sure that they can get back to you.

The most important part of dealing with the bogey man is that you have to make sure that you are not afraid of meeting him. Take steps to make sure that you’ll recognize when the bogey technique is being used. Learn how to deal with it and you’ll have taken power away from the other side of the table and given it to yourself.

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

Question For You: When the other side starts to use the bogey technique, should you ask for more information on the other opportunities that they have?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

More power. Is that really asking too much? As a negotiator, it sure seems as though all that any of us really wants is more power. If we could get that, so the thinking goes, then we could get the deal that we’re looking for and the world would be a better place. However, it turns out that we might be asking for the wrong thing – what would you do with it if you really got more power?