How to Handle Brinkmanship

Responding to Unreasonable Demands

How to Handle Brinkmanship - Responding to Unreasonable Demands

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Steven Schremp

Brinkmanship can leave deals teetering on the edge.

Imagine that your company installs and maintains computer networks, and that you have a shipment of 150 PCs on its way to a client's office. The client calls to say that they've reviewed the specs, and the PCs have features that the company doesn't need. They say they'll pay you 10 percent less than the agreed price, or the deal is off.

The client is jeopardizing the deal by trying to renegotiate at the 11th hour. You were expecting to build a lasting and positive relationship with this company, so why are they putting it at risk?

You make your profit from services and labor, because the margin from selling hardware is minimal. Giving in to this demand would eradicate that margin, and then some. If you don't accept the offer, however, the deal will fall apart, which would be disastrous for your bottom line.

Your client is engaging in brinkmanship. In this article, we explain what that means, and what you can do if it happens to you.

What Is Brinkmanship?

Brinkmanship (also brinksmanship) is a negotiation strategy in which one party pushes the other to agree to a set of conditions, to the point where he or she must accept or lose the deal entirely.

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