Reducing Expectations

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This tactic involves bursting one’s inflated theory of the deal outcome. In isolation, this may be a softer form of “gas lighting” (discussed later) as it calls the person’s sense of reality into doubt. On the other hand, it is authoritative if backed up by market data.


The initial dismissal of the outcome may sound like, “You can’t hope to take a 50% margin! No one else gets that return. That’s crazy.” And to add to the authority: “Here is the list of the last two deals I can disclose to you. All margins are around 30%.” To handle this tactic, mirror and reset expectations, in addition to the universal authority counter which is to distinguish. For example, to the above situation, say, “Well that is what we have always received, and if you want to deal with a company like ours, one that stands by our work, that 50% margin is how I get the right talent. Do you want it done right, or simply done?”


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