Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips, Negotiation Strategies July 21, 2009

The Krunch Negotiating Tactic

You’ve got to do better than that!

It is perhaps one of the oldest negotiation tactics in the world. Most everybody uses it at one time or another, from our everyday interaction at a store to the most high-level negotiation. At Karrass we call it the “krunch” tactic, and we think it works well, although we advise buyers not to overuse this technique.

How the “krunch” tactic works is simple: you put the burden on the other party to change the price in order to get your business. We state: you’ve got to do better than that (with the subtext “if you want to do business with me”).

There are several reasons this tactic works on sellers, and most of them are psychological. The salesperson probably thinks one or more of the following:

The buyer must have a lower price

The buyer wants to do business with me

The buyer must know something I don’t

The buyer is giving me another chance

There is also a systemic reason the “krunch” works well in negotiations: companies generally build in some wiggle room on their pricing. In fact, when buyers overuse the tactic, sellers will start building a ten percent addition to the price, which they can later remove in order to get the business.

Salespeople do not have to fall for the “krunch” negotiation tactic. They should first ask what the problem is: are other sellers offering the same product and the same service at a better price? Salespeople (and buyers) should recognize that there is more to price than just dollars. A price involves service, quality, delivery, reliability and other “soft” factors.

As Dr. Chester Karrass points out in his book Give and Take: “Handled right, it is possible to make an opportunity out of a krunch. A salesperson should not go into a negotiation without asking himself or herself, ‘What will I do if the buyer says ‘You’ve got to better than that?’’.”

Have you used the “krunch” tactic successfully? Have you refused the “krunch” tactic successfully? Let us know your experiences.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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