The Secret Ingredient to Negotiating Successfully

When you negotiate, position your offer properly, to gain a greater probability of its acceptance.

If someone said there’s an outbreak of ‘H1N1’, would you become alarmed? More than likely, you wouldn’t. If on the other hand, someone said there’s an outbreak of ‘Swine Flu’, your attention would more than likely be captured.

What’s the difference between ‘H1N1’ and the ‘Swine Flu’? Is ‘a rose by any other name still a rose’? The answer is yes and no. The yes part of the answer comes into play when one realizes, you’re really talking about the same thing. The no part of the answer comes into play when one realizes, even though you’re still talking about the same thing, the perception of it becomes less of a peril, when the name itself is not perceived as being that large of a threat.

How does this tie into negotiations? When negotiating, you can ensure that the perception of your offer is presented in the best possible light, by adhering to the following suggestions …

  • Understand the impact that ‘labels/titles’ have on the perception of the person with whom you negotiate. Use ‘labels/titles’ to highlight your offer, that are familiar and perceived as being favorable to the other negotiator.
  • Subliminally influence the perception of your offer by presenting it in a manner in which the other negotiator can view it as ‘added value’.
  • Prior to the negotiation, assess how your offer might be perceived. Do this based upon the ‘value system’ (how the other negotiator views her environment and the ‘things’ that are important to her) of the other negotiator.
  • Understand the mindset of the person with whom you’re negotiating, to determine what counter-offers with which she might retort.
  • Be calculative in order to ‘give in’ to requests made by the other negotiator, when her counter-offers intersect with your goals.


Prior to and during negotiations, keep in mind that people perceive things differently. In order to position your offer in the best possible light, give attention to how the other negotiator will perceive your offer and present it in a manner that highlights its value. In so doing your offer acceptance ratio will increase, you’ll close more deals … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • In addition to how you present your negotiation offer, give careful consideration to whom it is that presents the offer. The person that presents your offer has a great impact on how your offer will be perceived.
  • If you’re presenting an offer that may not be to the liking of the person with whom you’re negotiating, you can adopt the position of, ‘hey, don’t shoot the messenger’. If you find yourself in such a position, you might verbalize the “don’t shoot the messenger” comment in the opening phase of the negotiation. Blame your offer on a ‘higher authority’ (my boss made me do it.)
  • Always play the ‘what if’ game before making an offer. ‘What if’ I do this, what will the other negotiator do. ‘What if’ she does that, what will I do. By doing this, you’ll sharpen your negotiation offer and be better prepared to negotiate.
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