Negotiating in Life , Negotiating Tips February 25, 2011

8 reasons the other party is stalling

You and the other party are in the middle of a business negotiation when the other party starts stalling. It seems as though they don’t want to reach a deal at all...

You and the other party are in the middle of a business negotiation when the other party starts stalling. It seems as though they don’t want to reach a deal at all. Is there a good reason for this?

In fact, many parties stall or use a no-deal-wanted negotiation as a tactic. There are many reasons for them to stall. The top eight reasons the other party is stalling are:

  1. To use it  as leverage elsewhere

  2. To set the stage for deal-wanted negotiations later

  3. To tie up inventory

  4. To fish for information

  5. To delay decisions or actions

  6. To seek for outside alternatives

  7. To get third parties involved

  8. To divert attention


Stalling is frequently used in diplomatic negotiations where one of the parties is trying to cover up something or divert attention from something else.

If you suspect the other party is stalling with a larger purpose, what do you do?  First, you must always recognize that a negotiation may be used as a no-deal-wanted transaction to achieve one of the reasons listed above. Second, you must recognize that if the other party is not willing to reach a deal, there is little that you can do to force an agreement. You can choose to walk away. You can tell the other party that you will come back to the negotiating table when they are ready to reach an agreement.

If you have faced a stalled negotiation, how have you managed it? Please share your tactics in the comments.
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