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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 December 5, 2018

      How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

      How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

      Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

      We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

      How do they do it?

      By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

      1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

      There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

      If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

      2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

      Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

      According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

      Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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      3. Demand Learning from Your Team

      CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

      “The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

      His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

      Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

      “We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

      Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

      4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

      Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

      Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

      • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
      • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
      • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
      • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
      • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
      • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

      5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

      Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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      Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

      • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
      • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
      • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
      • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
      • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

        “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

      Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

      6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

      The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

      Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

      You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

      7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

      Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

      But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

      On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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      • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
      • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
      • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
      • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

      8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

      Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

      When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

      9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

      The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

      What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

      Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

      10. Empower Your Employees

      Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

      They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

      Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

      You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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      If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

      11. Nurture Your Company Culture

      Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

      Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

      However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

      Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

      Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

      Be a Leader, Not a Boss

      Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

      However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

      In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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