I was in a meeting today to squabble with a construction company over the price of our new office build-out. When I entered the meeting, I thought we were there to discuss elements of the build-out that I understood. But the discussion shifted.
I realized that I was in an uneven negotiating situation. I have never purchased a build-out of an office space before. The construction guys sell it all the time. I felt like whatever they would say I would not be able to trust; not because they are dishonest but because they know how to position things so that they win.
Rather than attempt to figure it all out myself, I stopped the discussion. I was direct and said I felt uncomfortable trying to negotiate with the uneven dynamic. I needed to bring someone else with more experience to negotiate on my behalf.
After saying that, the meeting concluded and they will be talking with someone I trust to figure this out.
I thought it was a useful approach to just cease to negotiate when things became overly uneven. In my case I had someone I trust in mind to do it for me. There are not always people that can negotiate on your behalf, so sometimes you just have to deal with unevenness and probably lose some ground in the process.
What are your thoughts on uneven negotiating tactics?