Learn about why the wording, "If you then I" is important. They concede first, making it possible for you to concede. Learn about how each side can propose a trade, and explore possible win-wins without giving anything away. Never concede unilaterally—it's weak; it encourages them to want more and more; and it makes your opening position look dishonest.
- Once you both have your opening offers on the table, the challenge is how to get to an agreement somewhere in between the two positions, ideally nearer to your starting point that the other person's. But certainly it's unlikely that you can get away with not moving at all from your opening position. In fact, if you open at your limit, so you can't move at all, it was probably not a very good choice of opening position. For example, if you most you can afford is $1,000, and you open with that, they'll expect you to reluctantly pay a bit more and will find it weird when you refuse to go any higher.
You'll look obstinate and unhelpful, not prepared to do your bit in getting to a deal. And you may lose the deal because of it. You should certainly start with some room to maneuver. So start at 800 or 500 and move up from there towards your 1,000. There are only two ways you can get from your starting position to an agreed finishing point. And those are either to concede unilaterally, which means to just say, "Okay, then, I'll "pay you more," or, "Okay, then, I'll set it for less." Or to trade, which means to say, "Okay, then, "if you give me X, then I'll move a bit." Trading is much better than conceding unilaterally for three reasons.
First, conceding makes you look weak and invites them to attack you further. If you give a bit, then they'll just ask for more. Second, with trading, at least you get a bit back for your movement. In fact, you might get more back than you've given. You might come down by $20, but get something worth $50 back for it, because the thing that's worth $50 to you is easy for them to give. Maybe it's an order for the whole year, or a recommendation, which they can easily give you.
So you might actually gain by trading. And whatever happens, you lose less if you get something back. The third reason why you should always trade is that you have a reason for coming down in price if you're selling or for paying a bit more if you're buying. If you just concede unilaterally, you just look dishonest. I mentioned this earlier, when I was talking about the importance of preparing your tradables. But here's a real example of it. I was quoted 18,000 pounds for getting my whole house double glazed, and I got the guy all the way down from 18 down to 6,000 pounds.
And I was thinking, "So what was that 18 all about? "Did you think I was stupid?" I mean, he's got a right to try it on, but it's still pretty insulting. And even if he had just come down from 18 to 16, I'm still thinking, "So what was the 18 there? "You pretty much lied to me." But if he'd said, "I'll come down from "18 to 16 if you'll let me put "a photo of your house before and after "on our website," I'd be thinking, "Okay, then, that's obviously got "some sort of value to him.
"I can see why he's come down." It's much better. And the exact words you use when you trade are important. Offers to trade should always be in the format "if you, then I." For example, "If you reduced the price "by 10%, then I could pay you up front." Not, "I could pay you up front "if you reduced your price by 10%." And this is because the subliminal message is, "You have to concede first," and that then makes it possible for me to move.
I'm only able to move because of this trade. Without the trade, I can't move. So it has to be, "If you reduce the price "by 10%, then I could pay you up front." Let's look at an example of trading in action. - Chris, so, about this price for the series of training courses, 4,200, unfortunately, we can't afford that. Is there any way you could come down a little bit? - Well, if you booked several courses in advance, um, then I could reduce the price by $45 per course, which would save us $180.
So I could come down to 4,020. How about that? - I really can only afford $2,800 on this course. - (exhales) 2,800. - But if you did some tailoring to our company, I'm sure that I can convince my boss to pay 3,200. - Yeah, I can't come down to 3,200, but what I'm thinking is, if you kept the numbers per course to 12 people, or fewer, then I could bring it down from 4,020 to 3,840.
How about that? - It's still a little bit high, but maybe you could write some specific roleplays for our company that we could use internally after the program? - Yeah. - And if you could include a copy of the happiness book, which I hear is brilliant, we could do an extra $5 a head, and I think that would bring us to 3,650, which is what we can afford. - 3,650. I'll tell you what, if we could make the third day a half day rather than a full day, that would be useful to me, and I could still make sure we covered all the material you need covered.
So if we could do that, then I could come down to your figure of 3,650. - Perfect. Alright, you got yourself a deal. - Great. - Thank you. - So I've gained a booking for several courses in advance. The numbers are below 12 people in each course, which saves me on materials, but also means they'll probably have to book more courses in order to get everyone trained. And I've got one of the days to be a half day, which is great. I've had to give away some tailoring, which I probably would have done anyway.
And I'll have to write those roleplays. I don't mind them using the roleplays internally. That costs me nothing to give away. But I can see it's valuable to them. I'm selling some copies of my happiness book for $5, but that's cost price, so it's not loss for me, really. So, overall, we've got a deal, and we've both gained some win-win tradables, all by using the format, "if you, then I," in order to gradually move from our starting positions to a finished deal somewhere in the middle.
So you must promise me you're never going to concede unilaterally. And then, in your next negotiation, try some trading. You might want to plan out some actual sentences. "If you can give me this, then I could give you that." Maybe even write them down on a piece of paper, and then, when you're in the negotiation, use each one to get step by step nearer to the agreement.
- Why we avoid negotiating
- When you should think about negotiating
- Planning your negotiation
- Calculating your opening offer
- Leveraging different negotiation tactics
- How to trade
- Determining if you should walk away