For many New Mexicans, getting called for jury duty means missing work, which could take a bit out of your paycheck.

“We have a statute that says we should be paying them $7.50 an hour, (but) we don’t have the money to pay them $7.50 an hour,” said Arthur Pepin, director of the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts.

The state Supreme Court allows the courts to pay a lower rate. As of August 1, the juror pay rate fell from $6.75 an hour, to $6.25. Soon, it could drop even lower.

“If we were to project to pay exactly how much money we have, we’d probably have to pay jurors about $4 or $4.25 an hour,” said Pepin.

“The only thing I can say to them is that’s all the money I have to be able to pay you,” said Pepin.

Read the full article from KOAT.

“That’s all the money I have”

“That’s as far as I can go”

“All I’ve got is…”

Sound familiar?

This scenario is common in negotiations. One party claims that there’s no more room, and that may, in fact, be true. But it’s often nothing more than a tactic that’s being used on you to get you to change your expectation – what we call your “expectation index.” That tactic is called the “Bogey.”

The bogey is essentially a target, real or imagined. It’s a way of presenting what might be a minor issue into one of major importance (which they can later concede in return for major concessions from you), and it works well for three reasons:

It gives the other side hope for the deal (“I’d love to be able to pay your price, but all I’ve got is…”),

It comes across as a plea for help (thereby stroking the ego of the other side), and

It helps keep the negotiation transactional – all about price.

The bogey is overwhelmingly used in price negotiations, as evidenced in the above article. Notice that Director Pepin sort of gave that away when he said, “…that’s all the money I have to pay you.” He didn’t say there wasn’t any other monies available, he said that that’s all there was to pay jurors at this specific time, and perhaps, out of one specific budget.

Dealing with this tactic can be tricky. First of all, maintain a high degree of skepticism. Don’t assume that everything the other side says is the complete story. Remember, a lot of what you hear in a negotiation is information that is presented tactically. So ask a lot of questions. Test out your assumptions. In doing so, you have a much higher chance of uncovering (and then overcoming) the real objections.

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