Negotiation Tactics: Defer to Higher Authority

This charade has been done to death in the car business. You make an offer to the salesman, and he says, “OK. I’ll take it to my manager.” The manager is the higher authority. It’s the good cop, bad cop scenario. 

The salesman role is the good cop. He wants to find out what you like and see how emotionally attached you or your spouse are to the car. He will take that information back to the manager, the bad cop. 

You can be sure the salesman is not saying, “They are a nice couple, and this is a fair price offer.” What he and the manager are doing is figuring how to get the highest price possible. The salesman comes back with a smile and a counter offer. 

When you are negotiating a lease, be the good cop. Tell the seller you have to run everything by your people or your association. This gives you time to figure out your next move and keeps any emotional attachment out of the game. 

It also works to remind the salesperson that you are not the final decision maker and that the deal could get shot down at any moment by the association or your business partners.