Negotiation tactics taken from Winston Churchill

18. August 2013

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965), British politician and Premier for the UK from 1940-1945 and 1951-55 and nobel price laureate 1953, is said to have been a Master of a very specific negotiation technique.

A deadly mixture between fait accompli (establishing and presenting circumstances that can´t be changed unilaterally by the negotiation partner) and salami tactics are employed to extract small concessions, that are expanded in the course of further negotiations.

This tactic is based on a universally valid strategy of persuasion: The inherent need for consistency of each human being, the wish to bring order and harmony into ones perceptions, beliefs and actions.

Put into action, it works like this:

Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Lady: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose so, generally speaking.
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Lady: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

Trapped.