Playing Defense as Well as Offense

Anthony Finney: So I had a contract drawn up to buy you and your company lock, stock, and barrel.
Ray Donovan:  I’m not for sale [walks away].
Anthony Finney:  Ahh . . we’re still negotiating.

–“Ray Donovan”; “Come and Knock on Our Door” (episode 3, season 3).

You can tell more about someone’s negotiating skills from how they play a weak hand than how they play a strong one.

After all, when you’re holding four aces, who needs negotiating skill??

The Art of the Timeout

Which is what I liked about the scene in “Ray Donovan” where business potentate Anthony Finney, played by Ian McShane, essentially rejects Ray Donovan’s rejection by characterizing it as a negotiating ploy.

Which is itself a negotiating ploy.

Sometimes, when you’re the underdog, a tie is a win, and when you’re about to be routed, the smartest thing you can do . . . is to call a timeout.

“Tie-Win’s” and “Tie-Losses”

Two famous football games illustrate the point.

In one, Harvard overcame a 16 point deficit against Yale in the game’s final 42 seconds to secure a tie.

The Harvard Crimson’s headline:  “Harvard Defeats Yale 29-29.”

Conversely, the most famous “tie-loss” would be Notre Dame’s decision, in its last possession late in the game, to run out the clock (and avoid a turnover) rather than try to defeat Michigan State.

Critics instantly labeled the strategy, “Tie One For the Gipper.”

See also“Frank Underwood’s Negotiating Secrets“; “Negotiating Strategy 101:  Is Time Your Enemy or Your Friend”; “They Key to Successful Negotiating:  Getting to “Yes?”  Or, Getting to “No?“;

Plus these: “Negotiating Tips”“How to Become a Good Negotiator“; “The Key to Successful Negotiation“; and ““Splitting the Difference’ and Other Negotiation Tactics.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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