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What is a Bogey?

The term ‘Bogey’ is used in the game of golf, and in the military. It is also used in the Karrass Effective Negotiating Seminar. What exactly is a Bogey?

There are several definitions of the term bogey (also spelled bogie). In the context of negotiating this term refers to a target, a false target, or a decoy. In technology the term may be used to refer to a false blip on a radar display. The term is used to describe radar echoes that occur for unknown reasons, especially in the military, where such a signal might indicate hostile aircraft.

There are two types of bogey: those that occur because of some real but unidentified or irrelevant object, fact, or statement (real bogey), and those that occur as a result of no concrete external object or fact (imaginary bogey).

In technology, a “real bogey” can be caused by an aircraft, a missile, and a flock of birds, a tall ground-based metal structure, a balloon with a large payload or a radar-reflective coating. In the military, a real bogey is sometimes produced by dropping myriad scraps of metal foil from high-flying aircraft, producing diffuse echoes that blind enemy radar over large regions.

An “imaginary bogey” can occur because of an external signal having a frequency and pulse rate near, or identical to, that of the radar’s internal transmitter. When the radar receiver picks up the offending signal, it cannot differentiate between that signal and a true echo, so a blip appears on the display. This is how radar jamming works. The blip might exhibit fantastic velocity or acceleration as viewed on the radar display.

In computers, bogey signals might conceivably arise from a specialized virus or Trojan horse, or from the activities of a brilliant but malicious hacker.

In negotiations, the bogey is a target which may be real or imaginary. A bogey asks for help. “I’d love to pay you the hundred thousand that you want, but the only problem is I’ve only got eighty thousand dollars. Help me.”
Asking for help is a powerful tactic in negotiation. “I would love to do what you’re talking about; I want to make an agreement, but you got to help me.”

Asking for help strokes the ego of the other person. The other person has knowledge that you don’t have. They may know of possibilities of helping you that you never thought of. Sellers almost always know more about alternatives for using and making and changing their products than any buyer ever dreamed. The reason is that sellers do it all the time. They do it for one customer and another and another and another. Ask for a seller’s help, it raises their ego, and they come up with alternate solutions. Those alternate solutions become the beginnings of a both win possibility.

Using a bogey, “This is all I’ve got.” May not always lead to a lower price, but in most situations it will generate more information regarding the transaction and a greater ranges of choices.

I hope this helps in your understanding where the term Bogey came from. Now learn how to use it in your next negotiation!

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