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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 4 Steps to Learn from your Mistakes 8 Killer Negotiation Tricks Clients Don’t Want You To Know Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch

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      Published on November 12, 2020

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

      Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

      Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

      While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

      Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

      1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

      When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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      Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

      In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

      • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
      • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
      • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

      While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

      2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

      Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

      Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

      Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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      However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

      3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

      Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

      But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

      It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

      4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

      Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

      Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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      5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

      Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

      For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

      How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

      The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

      If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

      Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

      It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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      Final Thoughts

      If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

      If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

      It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

      More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

      Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

      Reference

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