When in a position of strength:
- Have Suitor A believe they can be replaced by Suitor B at no cost to yourself;
- Indicate to both Suitors how good the other is with you and your organisation;
- Have Suitor A and B both believe they are playing second fiddle to each other;
- Leave no stone unturned and explore every option from the start gun – you can never anticipate all the outcomes;
- While various suitors are making offers, consider what all your stakeholders would appreciate and have other suitors make counter offers from those positions thus keeping momentum towards your goals;
- Have your spokespeople dirty their hands with the groundwork leaving you free to play the trump cards in the 11th hour;
- Keep your private thoughts just that, private. (Mr Clegg said far too much about who he’d do deals with during his campaign).
Note to dealmakers: this leverage negotiation can only work when you are strongly courted by suitors who appear, to each other, to offer you similarly successful products/outcomes. Sound familiar?
Is Mr Clegg regretting what he wished for?
Will he overplay his hand?
Will he be wrongfooted?
Is it all a poisoned chalice?