“To win more negotiations, be like and likeable with those you negotiate with.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
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In your negotiations, do you consider the affinity principal’s hidden value to winning more negotiations? Are you familiar with the affinity principal, understand its power, and how it can captivate someone’s devotion, and have them acting like your automaton? If you’d like to understand how to use this powerful silent source of persuasion, read on!
In a negotiation, the affinity principal factor is invoked when someone has a degree of appreciation and/or affection for the opposing negotiator. The reason for such emotions can be either known or unknown by the receiver, per the feelings they possess. It’s akin to feeling good about being in that person’s presence. Part of the reason that such good feelings are experienced is due to the level of oxytocin released in the brain of the receiver while in the presence of the initiator. That good feeling is attributed to the initiator and the receiver wants to experience more of that good feeling and will seek to please the initiator to do so.
The Role of Likeability in the Affinity Principal:
People like people that are like themselves. Thus, in a negotiation to enhance the affinity principal, you must be liked by the other negotiator. This can occur via body language signals you send (i.e. smiling, nodding in the affirmative when appropriate, given the other negotiator the proper space, etc.), and by displaying a pleasant demeanor as you engage in the negotiation. Suffice it to say, the more likeable you’re perceived as being, the more grace you’ll be given when/if you encounter challenging times in the negotiation.
The Role Perception Plays in Likeability and Truthfulness:
During a negotiation, silent signals are conveyed, received, and misperceived. Therefore, a good negotiator is always very attuned to body language signals sensed during the negotiation. By synchronizing your words with the appropriate body language gestures, your words take on a more consistent meaning, which enhances the perception of the truthfulness of your words. Even if you state that you’re not in agreement with one aspect of the negotiation, by being consistent with your words and body language, you’ll still maintain more likeability and believability than what would otherwise be the case. Thus, if your words are not aligned with what’s expected to be seen by your body language at such times, your words will be viewed with possible apprehension and you’ll decrease the opportunity to enhance your likeability.
Perceived Knowledge and Ability to Deliver:
You can be the greatest negotiator in the world, with the highest levels of likeability, and if you’re perceived as lacking knowledge per what you’re negotiating for or the ability to deliver, you won’t be trusted. You’ll be liked, but you may hit an invisible wall and not know why such has occurred.
To enhance the affinity principal, you must be perceived as being knowledgeable about what you’re negotiating for and be believed per being able to deliver on what the outcome might be. If either of those factors are missing or called into suspect, your negotiation deal can fall by the wayside.
The Value of Saying, “I’m Sorry” – Showing Humility:
Someone once said, sorry is a sorrowful word. It was meant to convey disdain. In a negotiation, saying you’re sorrow for some perceived aggression humanizes you. Since we all make mistakes, apologizing for a perceived depravity will endear you to the other negotiator and make you all the more likeable, while enhancing the affinity principal.
To win more negotiations, consider the value of the affinity principal. Use it appropriately and your affinity factor, along with your negotiation win rates will soar … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!