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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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      Last Updated on April 17, 2019

      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

      What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

      Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

      They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

      1. Communication Skills

      Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

      To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

      Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

      Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

      After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

      2. Flexibility

      Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

      Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

      Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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      Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

      3. Being a Team Player

      Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

      What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

      This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

      Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

      4. Positive Mental Attitude

      There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

      Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

      Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

      It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

      Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

      5. A Strong Work Ethic

      People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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      If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

      Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

      • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
      • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
      • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
      • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

      For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

      6. Public Speaking

      Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

      Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

      If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

      For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

      Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

      7. Integrity

      From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

      • Always doing what you say you will do
      • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

      …even when no one is around to check up on you.

      There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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      Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

      8. Managing Your Time

      Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

      A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

      Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

      Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

      These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

      9. Assertiveness

      In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

      • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
      • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
      • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
      • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

      Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

      How do you use this information for yourself?

      It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

      Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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      How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

      10. Creative Thinking

      LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

      Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

      How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

      Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

      These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

      You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

      What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

      Final Thoughts

      The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

      So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

      The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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      Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

      Reference

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