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Be on the lookout for these sleazy negotiation tactics.

By Marc Diener

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Don't be surprised if your opponent tries to play you. Bewary of these dirty tricks:

  • Good cop, bad cop: It ain't just bad television:That unctuous floor salesman can't give an inch withoutconsulting his ogre of a manager. Or you shake on it with one vicepresident, only to have the deal rejected by a facelesshigher-up.
  • Remember: Good cop and bad cop are one unit. Negotiate directlywith the bad cop, or with the two of them together. That'lleliminate the "shield" they give each other. You couldtry to pit them against each other, or just call them on it.They'll probably fold like a lawn chair.

  • The meaningless concession: Your opponent has to put alittle feeling into this one to make you believe that he'sreally giving you something that's not only important, but thatrepresents a good-faith sacrifice.
  • Never let your opponents guilt you into submission becausethey're "bending over backward." Instead, putyourself in their shoes, and ask: How much are they really givingme?

  • Trust me: When you hear "trust me" at thebargaining table, do the opposite.

  • Bad faith: Some will use negotiation as a fishingexpedition, as a strategic distraction or to embroil you in theirmadness. Thus, negotiation in and of itself becomes a dark anddirty deed. Always keep your wits about you. As Shakespeare wrote,"Let every eye negotiate for itself."
A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, MarcDiener is author of Deal Power.

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