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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?”
- 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.
- Offer the first part at a very low price (or none).
- 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.
- Use this opportunity to build up credibility and trust.
- 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.
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