Multiple Offers for One Transaction

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Identification

When we are close to closing on a deal, we may bring up “optional offers” so our adversary must deal with the decision. In certain contexts, choice is of value. Multiple offers for one transaction may be used as a strategic procedural move to lower cost by creating competition (which also plays to contrast, discussed above); or it may be used tactically as a dynamic mechanism. There are several motivations behind this tactic. It may be used for relationship or customer-focused reasons: to bifurcate the deal, knowing people like choices in certain settings; or to complicate the deal when we are being forced into one option (yes or no) which may not fit the transaction; or to show openness to other ideas and creative problem-solving. The more insidious motive is to corral the other party into our preferred option by putting two options on the table: one which is very undesirable and one which we want.

Example

“I can offer you option one, which meets all of your requirements but we will need more time to deliver; or option two, which also meets all your requirements including your time frame. For option two, we will need a 90% down payment.”

Solution

To approach this tactic, ask for priorities and know your own. Focus on your needs and take control of the negotiation. If you are in a binary option stage, know that many times those form the brackets and room for negotiation may be found between the two options. Cherry pick: that is, assemble your own option containing the best of each offer on the table. Resistance is countered by repeatedly asking why you can’t cherry pick.

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