Impasse 3 – Waste of Time

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This deal tactic comes up when time was invested, or wasted, with little progress, and can be used to gain advantage by adding an element of crisis or imminent walk-away. Running the clock to create crisis is used by many negotiators. It happens when one says, disingenuously, that the negotiation is a waste of time.


An example is as follows: “We are getting nowhere fast, I can’t see us going any further, it will be a waste of time, I am instructing my team to pick up their things and go home.”


To counteract this, meter and show process. Set a timetable, prioritize the negotiation, and use precise performance criteria with milestones and next steps. Progress must be demonstrated or the deal will implode. If you have no way of showing that progress has been made, then the other party’s claims are shown to be rational.

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