There are two antipodal methods of negotiating: integrative and distributive. Integrative bargaining means “win-win” strategy of negotiating when every party obtains additional benefits without causing any damage to the other party. In contrast, distributive bargaining assumes that one party will receive more than the other; it is so-called “win-lose” negotiating strategy.
I would like to concentrate on discussing distributive bargaining as it showed me that I can be less delicate while negotiating and can use different tricks to get more benefits. Not only I started using them while negotiating, but also I learnt how to identify my opponents’ ruses and how to resist them.
Recently, I have experienced applying distributive bargaining method. I was in the role of a seller.
I decided to sell my old car. I found the potential buyer whose intentions were rather clear. Before we met, I set my starting point (1500$), resistance point (1200$), and target point (1000$) for myself. The negotiations were tough (obviously, my opponent was aware of the basic distributive bargaining) so I had to resort to the manipulation. I said that I had another potential buyer who had offered 1500 $ for this car but was ready to pay piecemeal. So if he did not want to pay 1400$, I would rather accept the offer of another buyer. The buyer was trying to use hardball tactics called “The Nibble” trying to get small concessions: 20$, then 40$, and finally 50$. I think that I would not have noticed this trick before; however, that time, I was ready for that and decided to ignore those attempts. It worked. We finally agreed on 1300$, and I made a commitment: the buyer witnessed me calling my second potential buyer (who in fact did not exist) and saying that the car has found a new owner. In two days, we arranged a deal, and I received the sum of money. As a “deal sweetener”, I gave a buyer an additional tire. He seemed to be contented though I obviously won in these negotiations.
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What I realized is that applying this method requires intensive practice as it is much simpler to make a compromise that will give equal benefit to each party (like in integrative bargaining) than to make your opponent accept your conditions and receive less than it could possibly be. This is the reason why I used only several aspects and techniques of distributive bargaining in my negotiations; I simply lacked this essential practice.