This works by presenting an unrealistic option as part of the deal and then backing away, increasing tension by questioning the offeree’s response. This undermines credibility and stresses otherwise cool heads. It is a manipulative tactic.
Negotiator 1: “I can give you ten widgets by tomorrow if you buy all ten at the price you want.” [Knowing it is impossible to deliver the goods in that timeframe.] Negotiator 2: “But I only need one, and your price seemed above market.”Negotiator 1: “What is wrong? Are you okay? I just offered you ten times the product at the cut rate you wanted and you reject it.” Negotiator 2: “Ah, yes, but my needs are small... Well okay, I will take ten.” [Thinking he can sell the others.] Negotiator 1: “Wait a minute, you clearly can’t make up your mind. Let’s revisit the details…” [Later, offers a single widget at an inflated price]
In dealing with this tactic, it is important to trust your instincts. If something is too good to be true, there must be something missing, so ensure that you are aware of all elements of the deal. Eliminate considerations of little value, such as immediate delivery. If anyone attempts to play a counselor by asking if you are okay (who is not an ally or actual counselor), this should be taken as a sign of manipulation. Disregard any personal comments with a confused look. Silence will carry the day.