Turns Out That Negotiating Is All About 3 Rules Of Psychology

by drjim on September 19, 2014

The better you understand human psychology, the better a negotiator you'll be

The better you understand human psychology, the better a negotiator you’ll be

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What does it take to get your way in the next negotiation that you are involved in? The ability to read the mind of the other side of the table would be nice, but if that’s not possible for most of us. What else do we have to work with? The answer to this question doesn’t have anything to do with negotiation styles or negotiating techniques. It turns out that human nature is a very powerful force and if you understand how it works, then your chances of being successful in your next negotiation increase significantly.

People Want What They Can’t Have

As a negotiator you need to learn what good marketing professionals have known forever: scarcity breeds desire. The other side of the table is going to discover that they just have to have whatever you have if and only if they can’t have it: not enough of it, just sold the last of it, etc. Along the same lines, if there is some that everyone else wants, then the other side is going to decide that they want it too.

You can call it greed or you can call it envy, it really doesn’t matter. As a negotiator what you are going to want to do is to create an auction atmosphere. By doing this you’ll show the other side that they are in a competition to get what you have and they had better move quickly or they won’t get it.

People Become Overwhelmed When Faced With Too Many Decisions

It’s a fact of life that none of us really like to make decisions. What this means is that if we have too much information about something, we’re just going to shut down – we’re not going to know what to do next.

As a negotiator it is your responsibility to feed the other side of the table just enough information for them to make a decision. You don’t want to overwhelm them. You need break the information that you are giving them into pieces and feed it to them over time so that they can process it all.

People Succumb To The Aura Of Legitimacy

We all respond to authority and some of us more than others. If a piece of information is brought into a negotiation and is attributed to a trusted source, then all of a sudden that information is treated as being special.

The reality is that all information in a negotiation needs to be treated with suspicion. It might be legitimate; however, it might also be manufactured. You need to use the air of legitimacy when you can, but at the same time don’t let yourself get fooled by it.

What All Of This Means For You

You are human and you’ll be negotiating with humans. What this means is that human nature will play a big role in your next principled negotiation . If you understand how this all works, then you’ll have a better chance of being successful.

Realize that everyone wants what they can’t have. The other side will shut down if you provide them with too much information. Finally, everyone is influenced by the aura of legitimacy.

Knowing how the other side will react to these three aspects of human nature means that you now have a better chance of getting what you want out of your next negotiation. Use this new power carefully and keep in mind that these forces will also work on you!

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

Question For You: How can you make what you are offering to the other side appear to be scarce?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I can only speak for myself, but as of yet I have not figured that whole “mind reading” thing out. What this means is that if I want to understand how the other side of the table is viewing the negotiation that we are currently involved in no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, I’m going to have to make sure that I understand human psychology. This means that there are three key motivators that I’ve got to know how to use during my next negotiation.

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