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Bargaining

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Bargaining

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Offer to do something for them in exchange for what you want them to do for you. You can exchange anything of value, including goods, money, actions, time, knowledge, etc.

If needed, you can increase your offer. It is better to start lower, though not at a point where they feel insulted and consequently refuse to bargain with you. Take note of the need for continuing the relationship, but beware of them making it a bigger issue than it needs to be.

Make your offer contingent on them committing to do as you ask. Do not make unilateral offers other than a gesture to get them moving, and then make such offers with care as to how they consider this.

Example

If you do this for me today, then I'll help you out in the work you need to get done tomorrow.

If you want me to still be your friend, you'll do this.

Right. If you can get the presentation ready, I'll go and talk to the customer.

Discussion

Bargaining uses the principles and tools of negotiation. The underlying principle is one of exchange, where each person agrees to give something in order to get what they want. It is typically used when neither party has the ability to command or persuade the other to do as they want without being given anything for this.

Relationships in negotiation can be important. If you want the relationship to remain good, then the exchange should be viewed as being fair by both parties. If the relationship is unimportant then either side may use deceptive and manipulative methods. When this is uncertain or asymmetrical, it is not uncommon for people to use the relationship as a bargaining chip.

Bargaining is the ninth of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Negotiation, Exchange principle, The Need for Fairness

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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