On the other hand, if you negotiate based on interests, the process might unfold like this:
You: “My business has experienced a significant reduction in turnover: 70%! I want to keep my employees employed, the business running, and do everything I can to make it through the pandemic.”
Landlord: “The thing is, I have a number of investment properties and all my tenants are trying to negotiate rent reductions - plus other business interests that are losing money. I need the short term cash flow to prop up those businesses.”
You: “Well, I have a small sum of cash [set aside for BAS, PAYG, security – insert as appropriate]. What if I continued to pay the full amount of rent for six months to help you with your short term cash flow, and you give me a rent-free period of 6 months after that?”
Landlord: “That works for me. I can access the short-term cash flow I need, while being able to offer you a reduction in rent – simply deferred. I am happy to give you the additional 1.8 months’ worth of rent reduction for the benefit of the cash flow upfront.”
With this slight tactical shift, you can reach a mutually-beneficial agreement with your landlord based on respect for - and fulfilment of - each other’s interests. In fact, in this situation, you end up getting 6 months’ rent reduction for deferring your rent reduction. A true win-win.
Don’t get stuck on positions. Focus on interests instead.