Last night I shared a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a friend involved in a project to train up 15,000 buyers in the National Health Service in the dark arts of negotiation.
When I asked him what his favourite techniques were, I’m sorry to report that he had a couple of stinkers up his sleeve.
One that particularly made him chuckle, was reserved for when the rep the other side of the table thought everything was finally in the bag. He advocates sliding the paperwork nearer to the buyers, taking a pen and removing the top. You pause for a while, in silence, pen hovering tantalisingly over the contract. Then you pop the top back on the pen, slip it in your pocket, and start to talk about something troubling you.
It apparently causes consternation with the vendors, who rush to give one last concession. You have been warned…