When negotiating, do you use the ‘power of contrast’? You can use the ‘power of contrast’ to mentally strengthen your position or weaken that of the other negotiator.
The ‘power of contrast’ consists of comparing various outcomes to one another. In a negotiation, it’s used to highlight the best outcome (the one to which you aspire) as being less costly and/or more beneficial to the other negotiator.
To implement the ‘power of contrast’ you can utilize one or several of the following strategies.
- Juxtapose pro and con positions to introduce the pain of loss into the mind of the other negotiator, if he doesn’t adopt your position.
- Stress advantages she’d receive, if she accepts your offering.
- Compare the minimal ‘investment’ (try to avoid the word ‘cost’) (ex. $1.27 per day) to stress the overall benefit of acquiring your suggestion at a relatively low investment.
- If the other negotiator is risk adverse, highlight the negative outcomes that could occur as the result of him not acquiring your position. Point out the time loss he’ll incur, if he starts the negotiation process with another negotiator. Paint your picture as bleak as possible, to generate mental pain in him for not accepting your position.
- Create a ‘risk factor’ that you can inject into the negotiation to motivate the other negotiator to move towards your position or away from one that is less advantageous to you. A ‘risk factor’ is a calculation that you create that estimates the possible downside of accepting one offer compared to another.
The ‘power of contrast’ is a very strong tool to possess in your negotiation arsenal. In order to use it competently, determine if the other negotiator is more risk adverse versus ‘reward’ motivated. Once you’ve made that determination, you’ll be equipped with the insight that’s needed to implement the strategy effectively. After that, appeal to the source of motivation that will move the other negotiator most efficiently … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Tips Are …
- When dealing with a negotiator that is risk adverse, present your offer in the form of what he’ll lose if he dithers with the acceptance of your offer.
- If the other negotiator is ‘reward’ motivated, highlight the value he’ll gain.
- Regardless of the source by which the other negotiator is motivated, put time constraints in the form of deadlines around your offer; by doing so, he’ll become more motivated to move in one direction or another and less hesitant in the contemplation of your offer.