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"ahah, good one, good negotiator you are" to check power moves without breaking rapport

Imagine someone pulls one of the typical negotiation or sales power moves on you.

And you think "that was a power move, who does he think he's dealing with".

But if you externalize any anger, you break rapport.

And often, you don't want to break rapport.

Often, you want to do the opposite: to increase rapport.

Why keeping rapport

Because may be you want to buy, want to negotiate, or may need him for a discount (also, generally speaking, as we know here, you're always better off not making enemies and making more friends instead, and rapport-breaking goes in the enemy direction and keeping rapport goes in the friends direction).


Why displaying power awareness

You also want to show that you saw the power move.

It's important to signal power awareness so he doesn't go thinking you're an easy mark.
Plus, the more you can play the game, the more you can gain respect and even liking, and those always help in any human exchange.

So... How do you both show awareness, while keeping rapport?

Compliment the power move

Simple, you either comment on his power move (neutral), or even make a compliment (positive).

For example:

Him: (...) but I can only buy with an important discount
You: yeah, discounts at this level of quality are hard to come by, and I need to ask the boss about that
Him: yeah, but you're a big shot, the boss always listens to you, doesn't he (<- an annoying power move as it's patronizing, you don't want to be babied like that)
You: ahaha, yeah, good negotiator you are (= I saw your power move), the boss is also a shark  (=indirect compliment, in part, implying he's a shark negotiator, but also a way of checking him and to stop "playing the shark" because you ain't no tuna), what I can say for sure is that I absolutely want to make a deal with you, so let me speak to him ( <-- resets the proper frame)


You: cool, I like this location
Him: yeah, it's great, when are you planning to move in ( <-- assuming the sale)
You: ahaha, nice one, you're good at selling ( <-- checks his power move).  As soon as you can make a good price, I'm already in ( <-- said it with a smile, a cheeky power move, puts pressure back on him while "playing the game" and even increasing rapport)

If this was useful, let me know.

It helps to understand what should or shouldn't go on PU.

John Freeman, Kavalier and 4 other users have reacted to this post.
John FreemanKavalierAlexMats GBelEmily
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I like it!

It shows power awareness without breaking rapport, and also focuses on moving things forward for both parties.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

It's very useful!

I think (if not present in PU already) it could be developed into an approach to beat all patronizing power moves where you want to keep rapport, also outside of negotiations.

I remember once in my former law firm, an outside lawyer working on something for one of the firm's clients (so not a counterpart lawyer, but a "side-lawyer") asked me to tell her what I knew about the facts of the matter on which she was assisting the client.

I did, she let me talk for a while and then she said:

Her: "Bel, you see? You know so much more about this matter than me! You're the best man to prepare a short introduction of the facts about this issue".

Which I unfortunately did, even though she was the one being paid to do it.

How much better to answer:

Me: ahahah, this was a move so smooth! You let me talk and then... BAM! Seriously, I would love to help but I'm swamped.

This makes me think whether "smooth move" or something similar could be used as a stock meta-comment for patronizing or condescending power-moves.

Lucio Buffalmano, Kavalier and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierAlexMats G

Thank you for the note, Emily!

And Bel, man, that's awesome stuff!
Basically, it then became a short-format meta technique, loved it.

Bel has reacted to this post.
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