Research Your Counterpart’s Past Tactics

Notes on Negotiation
Submitted by Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

Walgreens had been negotiating a new prescription pricing deal with Express Scripts, Inc. but recently announced the negotiation had failed and it would be ending its relationship with Express Scripts at year end.  Interestingly, Walgreens participated in a similar negotiation with CVS Caremark last year which was eventually resolved despite the fact that Walgreens made a similar announcement.

This example illustrates the importance of researching your negotiation counterpart’s reputation and past tactics.  Robert Cialdini’s Consistency Principle tells us that most people have a strong tendency to act in a consistent manner.  As a result, if your counterpart successfully used a tactic in the past, it is likely they will use it again.  Here, CVS Caremark must analyze Walgreen’s announcement to determine if it is a bluff or a true signal the negotiation is over.  Knowing Walgreens made a similar announcement a year ago but still reached a deal should be an important part of that consideration.


Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or

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