Sad Sales Negotiators Do A Bad Job

by drjim on August 11, 2009

Scientists Have Discovered That Sad Sales Negotiators Do A Bad Job <br>(c) - 2009

Scientists Have Discovered That Sad Sales Negotiators Do A Bad Job (c) - 2009

In the quest to do a better job at negotiating deals, sales negotiators have been known to do some pretty wild things in order to condition themselves to perform at a high level – extreme exercising, exposure to hot / cold temperatures, and even eating some pretty weird things. However, is it possible that they’ve been overlooking the most important thing – how happy they are?

The Power Of Sad

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent a lot of time studying how we can persuade others and how they can persuade us. In fact he’s written a popular book on the topic titled Influence: Science and Practice in which he talks about what causes us to do things that we may not be giving a lot of thought to.

When it comes to sales negotiations, Dr. Cialdini and his peers have done some interesting studies that should cause all of us to sit up and take notice.

The Big Guess

The social scientist who were doing the research started with the hypothesis that when we get sad, we get motivated to do something to change our current circumstances in order to get out of our sad mood.

They took this thinking one step further. They also guessed that sad buyers would be willing to pay higher prices for a given product and sad sellers would be willing to sell a product for a lower price. Do I have your interest now?

The Experiment

The cool thing about being a social scientist is that you get to test your hypothesis on people, not rats. In this case the scientists had their (human) test subjects divided into two groups. One group watched a sad movie and then wrote a paragraph about how the movie made them feel. The other group watched a movie about fish (!) and then wrote about what they had done that day.

Next, both groups were once again divided into two groups and one group was asked to mark on a piece of paper what price they would sell an item at and the other group was asked to mark on a piece of paper what price they would buy an item at.

What the scientist discovered just might scare you. It turns out that their original guess was right: sad buyer ended up being willing to spend 30% more for an item than emotionally neutral buyers. Likewise, sad sellers were willing to sell an item for 33% less than emotionally neutral sellers. The really spooky part of all of this is that the sad buyers and sellers had no idea that their sadness had affected them so much.

Final Thoughts

Although we often get caught up in preparing for our next sales negotiation, what the social scientists have discovered is that we bring everything else that is going on in our lives to the table with us. On a similar note, the other side of the negotiating table does the exact same thing.

Before you start your next sales negotiation, you need to take a minute or two and evaluate how you are feeling. If there is anything that is bringing you down or making you depressed, then you have got to try to find a way to resolve it or at least make it better before the negotiations start. Learn to do this and it will allow you to close better deals and close them quicker.

Questions For You

Have you ever gone into a sales negotiation feeling sad? How did that negotiation turn out for you? Have you ever negotiated with someone who was clearly feeling sad? Did you do better than you normally do in that deal? If you are feeling sad, what do you do to make yourself become happy? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Welcome to the new world order: consumers are learning to haggle. In the extended global economic recession, consumers who never used to even think about bargaining are suddenly starting to haggle over every deal. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

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