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Thought for the day

The full archive of free daily management tips from our team of trainers.

‘Aim high’

Research by Chester Karass suggests that the most successful negotiators aim high. His research in the USA has been replicated in the UK. Two groups of buyers were chosen for a number of experiments. One group of young ambitious buyers were asked to negotiate a 15% discount off the range of prices from two suppliers. The second group of more experienced, but less ambitious, buyers, were asked to negotiate a 5% discount off the same range of prices from the same suppliers. The outcome was clear:
  • The experienced buyers all achieved the 5% discount. Not one exceeded the objective.
  • Not one of the ambitious buyers achieved the 15% discount. However, all achieved more than 10%.
Unfortunately, one of the many problems we face in a negotiation is the conditioning that comes with our experience. Because of our experience we may temper our aspirations. As we know a market or a product we tend towards norms and less radical aspirations. It is often the inexperienced negotiator who does not realise that something has never been done in a particular way before who achieves that additional benefit.

It is not just experience that causes the problem. If you compare the British culture with the Middle Eastern culture, there are strong differences in the way that we shop. These differences are carried over into our business lives, and the British culture is to see prices as fixed and non-negotiable. Many of us therefore do not ask for concessions which others may take for granted. The message has to be aim realistic but high in negotiation.

© The author

This thought has been taken from Eric’s book ‘Mastering Negotiations’. A master negotiator himself, he is our expert trainer on the subject – click here for details of one of his most popular courses.

Previous Thoughts for the day

Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to be unreasonable’
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Red Arrow‘Give your customers the benefit of the doubt’
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Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to complain’
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Red Arrow‘Being good enough, isn’t good enough – give customers a reason to be faithful’
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Red Arrow‘How to keep a customer for life – give them lots of reasons to stay’
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Red Arrow‘Close the customer service department’
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Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is everybody’s job’
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Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is not satisfactory’
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Red Arrow‘The answer is – yes!’
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Red Arrow‘What are others doing?’
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Red Arrow‘How can I take better care of my customers?’
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Red Arrow‘Every sales call is a free market research opportunity’
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Red Arrow‘The customer isn’t always right’
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Red Arrow‘Give your customers more than they pay for’
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Red Arrow‘Wash your dirty laundry in private’
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Red Arrow‘It’s OK to spend money’
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Red Arrow‘Expect the unexpected’
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Red Arrow‘Have a NIZ!’
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Red Arrow‘Dump trivia’
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Red Arrow‘Less is more’
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Red Arrow‘Speed up routine tasks’
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Red Arrow‘Stop doing other people’s work’
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Red Arrow‘Ask questions’
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Red Arrow‘Take control!’
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Red Arrow‘Listen!’
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Red Arrow‘You don’t have to answer the question’
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Red Arrow‘Shut up!’
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Red Arrow‘Be receptive’
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Red Arrow‘Go to the balcony’
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Red Arrow‘Think before you speak’
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Red Arrow‘You can’t stare – but you must watch!’
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Red Arrow‘Don’t be predictable’
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Red Arrow‘KISS’
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Red Arrow‘Aim high’
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Red Arrow‘Say “No.” ’
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