“How To Negotiate In The Frightening Times Of Reckoning” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“The only thing that trumps fear is a conscious mind controlling it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“How To Negotiate In The Frightening Times Of Reckoning”

I didn’t need all this stuff. Then why did you buy it? Just in case I need it. They’re shutting down everything. And right now, I, along with a lot of people, are afraid of what’s coming. Heck, you’re scared of what’s happening? It’s already here!

With a worldwide pandemic upon us, some will perish, some will become mentally crippled, and some will thrive. The most predominant factor that will dictate the categories people fall into will be how well they negotiate in these and the coming times.

The following are a few insights to consider to increase the probability of getting through the Coronavirus pandemic.


People are seeking calm and reassurance. If you’ve been reading my articles on body language, you know that the body always tries to stay in a state of comfort – it wants to feel safe and calm. And when it’s out of that state, it exhibits signals indicating that something’s wrong – that’s how you can decipher someone’s thoughts (i.e., by the body language signals they cast).

During this and any pandemic, people become scared. They’re afraid of the prevalent uncertainty that surrounds them. And thus, they don’t know what meaningful actions to take. So, they follow the herd, which in many cases doesn’t know where it’s headed. And that’s the void that you can step into. Show people, teach people, calm people, by giving them a sense of purpose and direction. Shine a new path of hope and safety for them to embark. They’ll trust you more when you negotiate with them.

Negotiation Strategies:


In the coming months and years, some people will become less discerning about maximizing their gains versus losing an opportunity – because there will be a surplus of some big-ticket items (e.g., cars, etc.). When possible, negotiate with individuals that must move items quickly; less those items lose more value. And be mindful of the speed you use to make and accept offers, which will depend on whether you’re buying or selling. If you’re the seller and you have leverage, push to close the sale quickly. If you’re the buyer, let the seller sweat – move slower.


Having cash-in-hand will induce some people to lower their prices. To enhance that image, display the money when you’re at a close point of agreement. And then ask, as you show the cash, how about I give you ‘x’ right now (display the exact amount you intend to offer), as you extend the money to the person. Let it linger there for a moment to see if he accepts it. If he doesn’t take it after a few seconds, slowly begin to withdraw it and observe his body language. Note if he becomes nervous – that’ll be a sign that he’s grappling with indecision. You will have done two things with your offer and gesture. One, you’ll show him how close he is to getting something where he might not get anything. Two, your slow movement of withdrawing the money serves as a takeaway, a loss of something someone is about to incur. Psychologically, people will fight harder to keep from losing something than they will to acquire it. So, you have that factor in your favor too.    


As indicated a moment ago. When someone senses loss, and it’s something they want, they become motivated to keep or acquire it. Once again, that’s the power of the takeaway. It implies that someone is about to lose something they want.

While this is a powerful tool in a negotiation, be mindful of not overusing it. Because, if you use it too frequently and still allow the other person to obtain what he wants, you’ll be teaching him to dismiss your takeaway. You will have devalued it. Thus, be aware of how and when you use it.

You, Thought Leader:

Thought leadership is another form of negotiation. Because people follow the thought leaders that they trust. And they do so more in frightening times of reckoning.

On the back label of the products we consume, there are several factors listed for information purposes. There are nutritional facts, ingredients, and a ‘best by’ or expiration date. That information displays a sense of the product’s life cycle, and the continuum it’s on, along with its nutritional viability. It’s a way to set the expectation in someone’s mind for how long the product is usable. And that’s what you can do as a thought leader – reassure people that there’s no expiration on their health and financial future if they adopt specific procedures. To do that, you must be aware of reliable and current information that those who follow you can use. And that will enhance the perception of those with whom you negotiate.


The thoughts on mindset, negotiation strategies, and thought leadership, are ways in which you can negotiate in frightening times and enhance the perception of your leadership abilities. To do so successfully, you must become well attuned to factual circumstances occurring around you. And, you must be aware of what those that follow you need and want – and don’t confuse those two. There’s a perspective difference in what people want versus what they need. If they truly need it but don’t want it, you may have a more difficult time getting them to accept it. That’s where your negotiation skills will become tested. In a best-case scenario, they’ll need and want your offering.  

When we come through this pandemic, one day we’ll look back on it and think these times were not that bad. Time will be the healer of the pandemic image. Thus, no matter how bad a situation is when you’re going through it, those times always appear to be perilous. So, fret not. Instead, possess a healthy mindset that will insulate you from seeing unreasonable scary things ahead, and increase your negotiation skills (which will enhance your leadership abilities). By doing so, you’ll become better positioned to see it through (i.e., the pandemic). And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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