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Killer Negotiator 101 – Foot in the Door technique

Killer Negotiator 101 – Foot in the Door technique

The Killer Negotiator Series

We are all trying to be a killer negotiator in one way or the other. Whether it is trying to convince your boss for a raise or your spouse to throw a party together, we all need to be killer negotiators.

The ability to negotiate changes your life. You get noticed by people who matter. It can get you that next promotion. You may get amazing unexpected calls or job offers beyond your wildest dreams. In your personal life, it can make you very very peaceful. A killer negotiator simply bypasses the rat race!

In the series of posts on being a killer negotiator, we have discussed that your first premise must be- Everybody is a Good Guy, you need to break the Self-Serving Bias, you need to Say less and listen more, and you can effectively use the Benjamin Franklin effect during negotiation. Once you complete this series and start practicing its concepts, no one can beat you.

Here comes the next hack!!!

The Foot in the Door Technique

An extension of the Benjamin Franklin Effect is the foot in the door technique, another masterpiece!

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The FITD technique is a phenomenon whereby a person who has done you a small favor (which he was not forced into), will easily want to do another bigger favor next time with increased vigor. Not only that, the person will actually feel great about doing you the favor.

In other words, when you get them to say a small yes, they are more likely to say the bigger YES.

Killer negotiator

    How the Killer Negotiator negotiates- an example

    I am a very skeptical online buyer. I don’t budge easily.

    I use a software called Grammarly for my writing. It is a good one to correct your grammatical mistakes. When I installed Grammarly, it said the software was free to use with some additional features for the paid version. That’s their foot in the door. Strike one!

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    I used the free version for about two months. I was happy and wanted to see if the paid version was worth it. But paying for a whole year upfront seemed steep. I did not even know if I will be satisfied. So there came the next offer. Grammarly introduced the free one-week trial of the paid version. I was overjoyed. I could try it for a week without any charges and correct all my works by then!! All for free!! I went for the one week Free trial. That’s strike two!!

    When I used it for a week, I realized it was much better than the unpaid version. And that’s when they lured me giving me a 100$ discount for the first year of Grammarly use. Strike three!

    I went forth and bought it. Now once I use it for a year I have the option to discontinue the payment, or I can keep renewing my subscription. Once I use it for a year with total satisfaction, what are the odds I will discontinue use? Probably not. I will re-subscribe even if that is much more than my first year’s subscription cost. Strike four!

    See how the offer slowly paced up? That is how the Killer negotiator does it!

    The practical use of FITD

    FITD is similar to the Franklin effect.  However, in FITD, the ‘small favor’ need not be personal. You can relate it directly to that big favor you want.

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    You can offer something very insignificant to the customer which they are also “free to refuse”. Taking this small step infuses benevolence in the other person.  When he or she says yes to the first small favor you asked for; he is much more likely to do you progressively greater favors being guided by the phenomenon which social psychologists call ‘successive approximations.’ This can be proved.

    1. In one experiment, few women were requested to take part in a survey of household products. After a few weeks, the experimenters said that a few people would be sent to their homes to decide how to modify their kitchen for the better. Those women who took part in the survey were twice as likely to agree the bigger request than those who did not take the survey.
    2. A group of people who filled up a questionnaire on Organ donation were twice as likely to volunteer as organ donors than those who did not.
    3. In another experiment, people were asked to put up a Big Sign in front of their house saying “Drive Carefully.” Most people refused this. Next, a few people were asked to put up a smaller sign – “Be a safe driver” for a few days, and then followed up with the big ugly sign – “Drive Carefully.” This time, most people agreed.
    4. Follow the questions below. The second question is likely to have a greater likelihood of approval if preceded by the first question.

    “Can I go over to Suzy’s house for an hour?” followed by, “Can I stay the night?”

    “Can I borrow your pen?” followed by, “Can I use your computer for a while? Mine is very slow.”

    “Can I borrow the car to go to the store?” followed by, “Can I borrow the car for the weekend?”

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    Business deal concept

      Action Plan:

      1. Break down your offer in parts. If you don’t think that’s possible, create a smaller thing to offer for free, such as a free trial.
      2. Offer the first part at a very low price (or none).
      3. The other party must feel that the offer is really attractive. Just get them to agree. Remember, this time, your aim is to put the foot in the door only, not to make a profit.
      4. Use this opportunity to build up credibility and trust.
      5. Once people get the hang of it, come up with the bigger offer with the higher price. This time, your offer is much more likely to be accepted.

      Conclusion

      None of these techniques are meant to outsmart the person on the other end. That is not the goal of a negotiator. The first rule of being a killer negotiator still happens to be:

      A killer negotiator gets a win-win for both parties!

      When you keep the other person’s interest in view, your deal will be sold!

      Featured photo credit: Free Images.com via freeimages.com

      More by this author

      Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot Motivate ourselves Motivate Yourself: Three Tricks to Kick Your Own Ass 8 Killer Negotiation Tricks Clients Don’t Want You To Know Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch Killer Negotiator 101 – Foot in the Door technique

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      Last Updated on March 29, 2021

      5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

      5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

      When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

      What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

      The Dream Type Of Manager

      My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

      I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

      My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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      “Okay…”

      That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

      I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

      The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

      The Bully

      My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

      However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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      The Invisible Boss

      This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

      It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

      The Micro Manager

      The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

      Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

      The Over Promoted Boss

      The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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      You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

      The Credit Stealer

      The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

      Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

      3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

      Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

      1. Keep evidence

      Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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      Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

      Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

      2. Hold regular meetings

      Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

      3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

      Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

      However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

      Good luck!

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