Resistance out of the Gate

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Identification

This is immediate and forceful pushback at the start of the negotiation, used tactically to mark ground and set the tone. Do not be intimidated. If this is an opener and if it is true that they resist everything, why are they negotiating? They can be worn down over time. This is often false bravado.

Example

This tactic may come in the form of a “no” to everything said. Or, a bit more prosaically, “We don’t like any of your offers.”

Solution

Ask probing questions about the push back: how can it work for them, when can it work, who is the decision maker, etc. Offering resistance can be an effective tactic, but according to Professor Deepak Malhotra, resistance should not be the only strategy because it limits your options[xvii]. Focus on how they are limiting theirs.

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