The Strategy of the Ultimatum

In negotiation, one potential strategy to end a meeting might be to use an ultimatum – but at what cost!

Will they be tempted to use ‘ultimatums’ to help close their negotiations?

Or will they use a ‘hypothetical ultimatum’ that still has room to move?

Tips on how to make an ultimatum

Deciding whether to use the negotiating tactic of ‘making an ultimatum’ is an aspect of strategy that ENSI consultants always carefully review with their clients.

If you believe you must use this tactic (maybe as a closing final offer), then some pointers include:

  • Be completely sure you have exhausted all other options
  • In particular, consider both the immediate and the longer-term outcome implications – including how the other party will respond, as well as the probable consequences for your relationship
  • Give the ultimatum prominence by making it an almost expected focal point of the negotiation
  • Develop a specific rationale for why you are making it
  • Deliver it in a manner that is clear, concise, and credible – it must have the look, sound, and feel of finality
  • Once made, do not blink. To make any change will cause a major loss of credibility.

To discuss this article in more depth or to explore developing your negotiation capabilities further please contact us on +612 9299 9688.

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