The Power Of Favors During A Negotiation

by drjim on October 17, 2014

Favors can get you more than just a thank you

Favors can get you more than just a thank you

Image Credit

In a negotiation we want the other side of the table to make concessions to us so that we can get what we need out of the negotiations. However, in all honesty, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use, they probably are really not all that motivated to give us the concessions that we want. What this means for us is that we’re going to have to find a way to get them to want to give us what we both want and need. Hmm, how can we make this happen?

One Good Turn Deserves Another

When we want the other side of the table to make a concession to us, there are a lot of different ways to go about making this happen. One that comes to mind right away is to force them to give in to us. In some cases we might be able to do this; however, the rest of the negotiation just got a lot harder because now they are going to be resenting us.

A much better way to get what we want out of a negotiation is to make the other side want to make a concession to us. One of the best ways to go about making this happen is to use the “one good turn deserves another” technique. Note that this is very different from the concept of a “freebie” – in this case you are not giving something away. Rather, you are doing something for the other side and you expect them to then do something for you.

The key to making this technique work for you is that you need to know what issues that are being negotiated are important to you and which ones are not. You are going to want to give in to the other side on a number of the unimportant issues and then ask them to give in to you on one of the important issues.

How To Be A Good Negotiator

You’ll never be able to get your way on every issue in a negotiation. A good negotiator knows that he or she is going to have to exchange some minor losses for some major wins.

Using this technique where you give in on minor issues to get them to give in on major issues is how you get the other side to be willing to make the concessions that you want them to make. What a good negotiator realizes is that not all issues are equal – the exchange of concessions does not have to include items of equal value.

An example of this would be if you gave in on five different items and then asked the other side to give in on one. Those five items may have had very little value to you, but the one that you want them to give in to you on might be a very big deal to you. Make sure that you keep the value that you place on the different items that are being negotiated hidden from the other side.

What All Of This Means For You

Getting the other side of the table to give us what we want is what negotiations are all about. It’s how to make this happen that is the hard thing to do.

The key to getting the concessions from the other side that you want is to make concessions to them. Give in on the little issues that you really don’t care about, let these mount up and then ask them to give in on something that you really do care about. Don’t be afraid to make concessions to the other side. This is all part of the process and you’ll need to give in order to get.

Skilled negotiators realize that a principled negotiation is all about both giving and getting. Taking the time to give into the other side will allow you to get them to give in to you one the issues that, in the end, really matter to you. Learn how to do this and you’ll be the negotiator who always gets what you want from a negotiation.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: How many issues do you think that you need to give in on before you can ask the other side to give in to you?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it – with all of the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we use, negotiations can become very complex if we are not careful. As a negotiator you should always be looking for ways to simplify the negotiating process. However, at the same time you need to make sure that you’ll be getting the best deal possible. Exactly how to balance these two goals is what the following four tips are designed to help you do…

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Everyone wants something if it's free

Everyone wants something if it’s free
Image Credit

As negotiators we all know that it is possible for a negotiation to grind to a halt. We can get very, very close to reaching a deal with the other side of the table, but for some unknown reason despite all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we’ve been using, we just are not able to get there. It turns out that there is a classic negotiating technique that just might be what we need to get over that line. To use it, all you have to be willing to do is to give something away for free…

The Power Of Free

Let’s face it – closing a deal is hard to do. We can get very, very close to the end of a deal and then for some unknown reason the other side of the table just is not willing to cross the finish line with us. For some reason, the deal just does not “feel” right to them. What’s a negotiator to do?

This is exactly the time that you should start to think about giving something away to the other side for free. This can be the little something extra that allows you to clinch the deal. We’ve all see how adding something free to a deal helps those late-night TV commercials sell things that none of us actually need (“buy two and we’ll throw another one in for free!”)

What’s going on here is that the other side more often than not just can’t pass up a deal. The size of what you offer them really does not matter. The key is that it’s “free”. The fact that they were able to get something for free is what the other side will remember long after the negotiations are done.

How To Use Free

So just exactly how does one go about using this powerful concept of giving something away for free? Good question. What you are going to want to do is not to lead your negotiations with the offer of something for free. Rather, you are going to want to use it as a sweetener to motivate the other side to want to close the deal.

How you go about doing this can take on a number of different forms. You can change when the other side gives you money in the form of “no payments for two years”. You can offer them a better guarantee in the form of “we’ll extend our 90-day warrantee and make it a one-year warrantee”. Or you can just offer them something that they would have to buy anyway after purchasing your product like “a free tank of gas”.

One thing that you’ll want to be aware of is that there will be cases where you could lower the price of what is being negotiated for or you could offer the other side something of an equivalent value for free. In almost every case you are going to want to offer them something for free because this will be more attractive to them and they’ll remember it longer.

What All Of This Means For You

The way that we measure our success when we are negotiating is by the number of deals that we are able to close. There are many cases where we may get close to closing a deal and not quite be able to wrap it up. It’s times like this that the power of giving something away for free can help to make the deal happen.

There truly is something almost magical about the word “free”. When the other side of the table hears it, they immediately want whatever we are promising them. Offering something to the other side for free when a deal is close can be what it takes to make the deal happen.

The next time that you go into a principled negotiation, make sure that you have a free offer somewhere in your bag of tricks. If you get close to reaching an agreement on a deal, but can’t quite get there, then you can bring your free offer out. You just might be amazed at how powerful a free offer can be!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that there would ever be a situation in which you should make multiple free offers?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In a negotiation we want the other side of the table to make concessions to us so that we can get what we need out of the negotiations. However, in all honesty, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use, they probably are really not all that motivated to give us the concessions that we want. What this means for us is that we’re going to have to find a way to get them to want to give us what we both want and need. Hmm, how can we make this happen?

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