5 Negotiation Hacks To Make Your Life Easier
Great news, you’ve just cut a deal. You’ve managed to knock a few quid off that brand-new ultra HD flat screen smart TV and got it for well under the asking price. Finally, some good luck has come your way. All is well with the world! You pat yourself on the back and begin to postulate about an exciting new life in which you can brandish your new-found bartering skills with careless abandon. Well, that is until you hear that your friend bought the very same TV £300 cheaper than you did the following week. Is there no justice in the world!? Sometimes, we’re just unlucky. Sometimes, our friends are just better negotiators than we are! Whilst this isn’t anything to be ashamed of, it never hurts to be reliably informed. You should always use your knowledge to your advantage – you never know, it might end up saving you some money further down the line. So, here’s our top tips to help you negotiate like a pro.
1. Anchor Your Price
So, what does nautical paraphernalia have to do with the cost of your new dishwasher? You’d be surprised. When talking price anchoring, we’re referring to the dubious blurring of profit margins, skewed truths and general sales jiggery pokery. When a retailer puts a product on the market at a certain price, you naturally assume that 9 times out of 10 that this would be the actual, final price. That’s where you’re wrong! When it comes to closing down a sale, salespeople become all sorts of malleable! Retailers will often reduce the price of a product to make it look like you’ve made a sizeable saving (when you haven’t). This is a tactic used the world over. It gives salespeople the wiggle room they need to close down a sale and creates the illusion that they are amenable, empathetic human beings. Don’t worry, we’re sure they’re lovely. If the shoe is on the other foot though, it’s an important tactic to bear in mind, especially when it’s being used against you! By getting to as low a price as you possibly can as early as you possibly can, you are anticipating the ‘lowest offer’. From this point it’s simply a case of pressing them to reduce the price even further. Whilst in reality you may not far below this price (you have to consider profit margins for the salesperson) you still have a considerable chance of saving more money than you would otherwise. Try it!
2. Scarcity Principle
Before you think about using this next principle for your own gain, it’s a good idea to understand how marketers use it first. You’re already more familiar with the technique than you think. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book! We’ve all heard that infamous line, right? “Act now, available for a limited time only!” Ring a bell? Of course, it does. It’s been a staple of 21st century advertising for years. The truth is, whatever you’re being cajoled into buying, it’s probably in higher supply than you think. Marketers will often try to convince you that you’re going miss out on an opportunity, regardless of whether you will or not. The truth hurts, right? The good news is, this sword is double-edged, and it can work to your advantage. Let’s apply this principle to a real-life scenario. You’re trying to sell some furniture and you want to make some money fast. You have an interested buyer, but they’re not prepared to fully commit themselves to a sale. This would be a perfect scenario to stress that you have other interested parties on hand, and that they intend on paying full price for your product (even if they aren’t). In doing so, you are effectively spurring on the non-committal buyer to make a decision there and then, just in case they miss out.
3. Comparison Effect
Once you’re savvy as to how this next technique is used, you’ll be able to avoid paying extortionate, unrealistic prices for something you weren’t particularly keen on in the first place! Again, let’s think of a real-life example in which this technique is used at your expense. Let’s say for arguments sake that you are buying a new house. The estate agent shows you a variety of properties, all very different from the last. You’re shown a positively revolting property (think cockroaches, damp patches, general unpleasantness and a pretty awful location) and then, afterwards, a comparatively attractive but resolutely average one. You’re going to (naturally) feel more inclined towards the latter. Equally, you’ll find the comparatively better-looking proposition far more attractive than it actually is. Whilst variety can be a great thing, it’s something that’s often used as a tool of exploitation. It’s never good to make decisions in pressured circumstances, so in this case it’s important to take a step back and give yourself the time needed to re-evaluate your position and consider your options.
4. The Trust Principle
When was the last time you bought something off somebody that you didn’t trust? Chances are, you probably didn’t. Now we’re not talking about buying a can of Coke down at your local newsagents, we’re on about big purchases, like a car or a house. When you make these purchases you want to be made to feel at ease, if not just for the expense! So how do you make this technique work in your favour? Well, for starters, honesty really is the best policy. If you are truthful with somebody from the off, they are going to be much more likely to reciprocate the sentiment. Let’s say that you’re trying to sell your TV and an interested buyer has come to take a look. By being upfront and honest with the buyer and making them aware of any of the item’s minor faults etc., you are subconsciously reinforcing the idea that you are a trustworthy, reliable person. Making it clear that you’re an honest person from the beginning goes a long way, especially when it comes to determining whether they would like to buy from you or somebody else.
5. Time Is Everything (Including Money)
Finally, let’s take a minute to talk about time – or more accurately, how you can use time to leverage it to your advantage. When it comes to negotiating, it’s all down to the subtle implication of power. Whilst a negotiation is an open discussion between two or more parties, by providing certain conditions prior to a meeting or arrangement, you’re placing yourself in a position of advantage from the start. By determining the time and place of a meeting for example, you’re the one calling the shots, and you’re the one controlling the situation. Being an authoritative figure who is assured and confident speaks volumes of your capacity to influence others and achieve results.
So, provided you take the right steps, you too can utilise every rule in the book to your advantage. Don’t always take things at face value and question everything- you might be surprised what you might save in the process. Remember, you don’t have to be a marketing expert to use expert marketing techniques!