CARREFOUR BUYER TRAINING DOCUMENT Excerpt from "NEGOCIER PRESQUE TOUT" Roger DAWSON1) NEVER RUSH ENTHUSIASTICALLY UP TO A SALESMANObvious as the recommendation may seem, it is still rarely followed. Just look at the way mostclients make a beeline for the car dealer, especially when they are loyal to the make or have alreadymade their choice! Remember that any salesman, whoever he may be, is paid to sell! Why make iteasy for him by letting him see your mind is made up? Make him work for his wages, let him sweat.Never forget: in the opening hours of negotiations, stick to an unremitting scepticism, lack ofenthusiasm or indecision.2) ALWAYS REACT (ADVERSELY) TO A FIRST OFFERThis tactic can be incredibly successful if you rely on it systematically whenever someone mentions aprice. Never admit that the offer is "fair, "interesting", "better than the competition". But beware: alack of reaction on your part is equally dangerous. You are playing into the salesmans hands by animplicit recognition that the price is one of the factors in the negotiations that is already decided. Theonly ground left for you to fight on is on marginal issues such as availability, after sales service etc.So acquire the habit of commenting aloud any time you hear a price mentioned. Expressions such as"What?" or "You must be joking!" instantly put the onus on the opposing team to justify its position.3) ALWAYS ASK FOR THE IMPOSSIBLEHave no hesitation, right from the word go, in asking for far more than you hope to obtain. For onething, your demand, excessive as it may seem to you, may mesh perfectly with what the other side isprepared to give way on. Most important of all, this gives you so much room for manoeuvre thatyou can afford to make minor concessions to demonstrate your willingness to come to terms and letyour adversary feel that he, too, has gained something from the negotiations.4) NEVER ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFERNever jump at a first offer, however fantastic it may be. This advice can sometimes be difficult tofollow. Imagine, for example, that your house has been on the market for six months and yourestarting to get desperate when suddenly someone offers your asking price! The last thing you shoulddo is snap up the offer and sign posthaste. Accepting a first offer is frustrating for both parties. Youwill end up regretting that you didnt stick out for more, while the buyer will be kicking himself fornot having made a lower offer and even wondering what hidden defects might lie behind suchprompt acceptance. In reality, you have left no scope for negotiations to develop and made two setsof people dissatisfied!5) TELL THEM THEY WILL "NEED TO DO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT"
2Six words that can change the whole course of negotiations. Professionals are wise to this tactic, butyou can wheel it out from time to time, especially when someone mentions a price. The ball is inyour court, and now is the moment to smash it back over the net.When Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State under the Nixon Administration, he once asked hischief aide to produce a written analysis of the Vietnam conflict and offer a diagnosis. A few weekslater, the aide submitted a full, documented and accurate report. Two days later, though, back itcame to its authors office bearing the laconic inscription "Youll have to do much better than that.H.K.". The aide went over every page of the report, adding notes that covered every possible aspectof the situation. Then he submitted it to Kissinger once again. A few days later, back came thereport with the same note. Yet again the luckless author buckled down to his task, adding photos,graphs, and numerous expert opinions. Grasping his courage in both hands, he delivered the reportto Kissinger in person and said "Please dont send this report back again, theres no way it can beimproved, I simply cant do any better". "In that case" replied Kissinger, "Ill read it".6) ALWAYS PLAY SECOND FIDDLEAn experienced negotiator will never claim to be the man who makes the decisions, even if hes theCEO of a major multinational. Greener young professionals, glorying in their new responsibilities,often commit the fatal error of boasting that they have carte blanche to strike a deal. This approachcan cause you serious problems. If you, as the decision-maker, agree verbally to a proposal from theopposition, then youre left with no way out. At the close of negotiations, its always a good idea toclaim that you have to refer to a higher authority (boss, associates, Board) before things can befinally settled. This leaves you time to think things over and even the option of putting the wholedeal back to square one on the claim that "they dont agree".7) BE SMART: ACT STUPIDI love acting stupid. Its a surefire way of getting rid of hawkers and sellers of Christmas calendars.A salesman is struck dumb in the face of an apparent madman muttering "Mummy isnt here, shetakes care of all that". But it is also an extra tactic for getting what you want. The dumber you act,the better youll do. Ask people to explain things, say you dont understand. The chances are theother guy will feel sorry for you and make concessions. Not only that, acting stupid is a good way ofundermining your adversarys assurance. Imagine a photocopier salesman launches into a full-scaledemonstration of his machines performance and capacities, with documents to boot, and then afterfifteen minutes you shamefacedly admit to having understood nothing and ask him to start all overfrom the beginning. Nothing like it for taking the wind out of a super-salesmans sails and getting theupper hand.8) NEVER STRIKE A DEAL WITHOUT SOMETHING IN RETURN
3Every time someone asks you to make a gesture, demand something in return. "If I do this for you,what will you do for me?". This attitude brings you benefits without you actually having to ask forthem. It gives a value to any concessions you make. Finally, it discourages your opponent fromcoming back with an unending series of other demands, if he knows you will automatically requiresomething in return.9) ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO BREAK OFF DISCUSSIONSIf the contract you are about to sign is not entirely to your satisfaction, remember that you canalways break off the negotiations. Once again, it is a question of putting pressure on your opponentwho finds himself in a dilemma: should he try to win you back or run the risk of losing the dealentirely? It is amusing to note that its you that takes the initiative of breaking off the discussions, butthe other party that carries the can if the negotiations break down. Walking out of the negotiatingroom is also part of the game of bluff. Besides, this type of manoeuvre really does work in mostcases.10) PLAY "GOOD COP, BAD COP"This is a technique familiar to connoisseurs of police interrogation techniques and which you canusefully apply in negotiation. All you have to do is decide who plays which role, then stick to it. The"bad cop" may in fact not even exist, or be aware that he is cast in the role. For a young negotiator,the best solution is to adopt the role of the "nice guy" who understands the concerns and problemsof the other side. Unfortunately, he has a boss (see tactic n° 7), a real dragon of a department head,a blinkered fossil who persists in remaining totally unconvinced. This tactic offers two advantages. Itcreates a sense of complicity between the negotiator and his adversaries. It also paves the way formuch to-ing and fro-ing which can produce fruitful concessions. If anyone tries this tactic on you,your riposte is to deal directly with the "bad guy".11) USE FALSE PRETEXTSHere is one example. You are on the point of selling a machine to another firm but when you makeyour final offer they come back with: "Your proposal is very interesting, except for one point. Youare offering delivery on 1. August, but we need it on 1. June". Back you go to your office,downcast, disconsolate, knowing theres no way you can meet that deadline. The next day, you pickup the phone and offer an extra 2% reduction to make up for the delay. Congratulations! Youve justbecome the latest victim of a false pretext. In reality, the deadline was of minor importance and whatyour adversary really wanted was to get you to drop your price. Never lose sight of the real aim ofany negotiation, and never let yourself get sidetracked by spurious arguments. On the other hand,you could try using the tactic yourself.12) APPLY THE PARETO PRINCIPLE
4In a negotiation, 80% of the concessions are made in the final stages (the last 20% of the totalnegotiating period). So any demands made at the beginning are unlikely to be accepted. On thecontrary, you would be advised to put in for concessions just before the end of the discussions.Similarly, you should start off by avoiding the problems inherent in any negotiation, saving them forthe end. Watch carefully for the moment when discussions are drawing to a close, then start tointroduce questions, put forward problems that could jeopardise the agreement. There is a goodchance the other party will be willing to make concessions at this point.13) NEVER GET LOCKED INTO A DEAD ENDNegotiations often get bogged down on a single point, whether major or minor. In suchcircumstances, the parties have a tendency to resort to vehemence, arguments, even insults, at therisk of blowing the whole deal. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, have no hesitation inavoiding the obstacle and suggest shifting the discussion to other points. Once a consensus has beenfound on these other points, there will always be time to come back to the problems, only this timein a much more positive atmosphere. You could say, for example: "I think thats about as far as wecan advance, at this stage. Why dont we go back to that other point?" Another variant of this tacticinvolves steering the discussion onto another tack as soon as you feel attitudes beginning to harden.Each of these tactics is designed to give you an edge in negotiations that you didnt necessarily haveat the outset. Remember, though, that the best negotiations are those where each of the partiescomes out with what he wants. The line between simply defending your interests and manipulation isoften fuzzy. Its up to you not to cross it, except if you yourself are the victim of manipulation.