Wednesday, May 18, 2022

“Everything is negotiable”

When I first read that everything was negotiable I went about negotiating everything.

I went around prodding and probing just how much of a better deal I could get. I started experimenting and tried as much as possible to negotiate and win and get the other feeling like he has won.

Since then I have negotiated everything from police tickets, sales contracts to getting out of domestic chores. However what I find most interesting is the level of unpreparedness that people have when it comes to negotiations.

But yet life demands us that we negotiate and persuade everyday of our lives.

Could it be that perhaps the reason why most people are unhappy in life is because of their inability to negotiate terms and conditions that favour them? Is it possible that perhaps if you knew how to negotiate better and persuade more elegantly you would have harmonious relationships with those that play an important role in your life?

If the answer to both these questions is yes then why are so many people getting the short end of the stick in life? Is it because f the lack of negotiation training or is it simply ignorance on their part? Negotiation is about persuasion and persuasion is about gently winning people over to your side from their original point of view. It’s not about fighting, or win/lose as some people may seem to think. The number one mistake which often escalates in bloody attacks on each other is people automatically assume a fighting stance that is more of frontal attack on the person they want to persuade. To persuade someone you should avoid taking a fighting position at all costs because very often in a fight egos are left bruised and bridges burnt which drifts both of you further away from an agreement.

Having a combative attitude has its place in the grand scheme of things but its not at the negotiation table. Negotiation is about give and take. And the more you can give the more you can take especially if you can concede something that has a perceived high value while in real life it is actually costing you very little. It is amazing how many people walk into negotiation scenarios focusing only on what they can get without even thinking about what they are willing to concede and in what order.

To be a shrewd negotiator or persuader you have to understand how to manipulate people’s emotions in your favour. It not just about how you feel, its about how others feel as well and how you can use their own emotions against them, the most popular form of this kind of manipulation is the guilt trip. Where people try force compliance upon others by making them feel guilty about what they may or may not have done. Because most people are aware of negotiation tactics most people do indeed feel guilty if manipulated into a situation that is calculated to make them feel guilty.

For example there is a tactic called flinching, which basically says that you should flinch hard, cry foul and act shocked when somebody mentions their terms even if they are the most reasonable terms you’ve heard all your life. If the other person is a novice they will instantly revise their terms and all you have to do to get them down is to continue flinching until they have revised their terms to a point where you find them acceptable only if they can add this or take away that. It works sometimes and other times it doesn’t. I have gotten people to reduce fees instantly just by as much as 25% just by this tactic alone.

Retailers also use the guilt strategy in reverse, instead of flinching, to prevent customers from asking for discounts they give unsolicited discounts to any customer that walks through the door.  These discounts mainly range from 10% to 25%. So to the uninitiated negotiator this unsolicited discount exerts enough psychological pressure to stop them from asking for any additional discounts while they walk away feeling like they have benefited from the discount.

By the way the goods are always priced higher so that the discount will bring the price back to normal range. So the next time you have to negotiate with someone think not about what you want to get but also about the various emotions that people bring to the table and about how you can manipulate them to make sure that the other person happily gives you the best deal going.

So yes everything is negotiable and as they say you don’t paid what you are worth, you get paid what you negotiate. I am reminded about this every time a client accepts my fees without haggling.

Lets Sithole – 71649959
“Opportunities multiply as you seize them.”


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