Negotiating tactic or manipulation?

The thumbnail version:

  • A post turn into a story
  • Negotiating tactic or manipulation?

The full version:

This started out as a post about five things you must avoid when negotiating. But it reminded me of a lease negotiation I was a party to. So instead, here, by way of entertainment (and possibly education), is the story as I told it in my book Characters Who Can Make or Break Your Small Business:

” I was about to sit down to negotiate the renewal of our main office lease with the property manager of the building. I’d heard that the landlord was aiming for an increase I considered to be higher than the market value, and certainly higher than I anticipated accepting.

A lease negotiation can be like a game of poker, with each party trying to guess the other’s cards before showing its own. I had minimised the guessing by advanced knowledge of the proposed rent increase. I also knew we were regarded as a desirable tenant and guessed that the landlord wouldn’t want to add to the existing unleased bays in the complex.

About ten minutes before he was due to arrive for the meeting, I had an idea that, in retrospect, and in all modesty, was not only fun but a stroke of genius. I found a manila folder and filled it with an assortment of colourful brochures, price lists, and sundry promotional material we had lying about the office. I then wrote ‘PREMISES SEARCH’ on the cover of the folder in a black marker pen and placed it on the far end of the meeting room table, where it was out of reach but close enough for the title to be read.

By the end of the meeting during which there were many furtive glances at the manila folder, we had agreed on a very modest rent increase in line with what I regarded as fair. In addition, my request for new carpeting at no charge was agreed to.”

Negotiating tactic or manipulation? You decide.

Anyway, the five things you must avoid in a negotiation will be discussed in the next post.