Length of the Negotiation Dance
In cultures in which the parties expect more haggling, parties will make 12-15 offers/counter-offers. A clip from Montey Python's Life of Brian, starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, illustrates haggling in a way we'd expect from this group.
Brian Cohen, played by Chapman, is trying to escape the pursuit of Roman Centurions by buying a beard as a disguise. The frightened consumer, however, cannot buy it at the sticker price. He is forced to haggle.
In sharp contrast, a U.S. consumer has a low tolerance for the negotiation dance. He or she typically will make only 2 or 3 rounds of offers.
As a result, U.S. negotiators:
- Avoid negotiation, in general, by paying posted prices;
- Pay more;
- Move too quickly to the bottom line and short-circuit the dance; and
- Get to impasse more frequently.