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There’s Hidden Value in the ‘Nice Factor’ When Negotiating

“The hidden value of the nice factor is exposed by reciprocation.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“I don’t know why I made those concessions. The other negotiator was so nice! Something made me want to be nice in return.” Unbeknownst to the speaker of those words, subliminally, he was affected by the nice factor.

Have you ever considered the hidden value of the nice factor when negotiating? Being nice is perceptional, depending on who you’re negotiating with. Nevertheless, it has a place at some point in every negotiation.

The following are ways you can deploy the settle ally of the nice factor to enrich your negotiation outcomes.


Negotiators set the tone for the negotiation at its outset. Note: The outset starts before you’re at the negotiation table. They may set a tone to suggest you should not take them lightly or one that implies they’ll go along to get along.

Some negotiators project a stern persona to convey the sentiment that they’re not to be dallied with; this persona can also be invoked to protect the veneer of insecurity. That’s worth mentioning because you should be watchful and asses if such a demeanor serves that purpose. That can uncover the personality type that you’re really dealing with.

In some cases, a stern type of projected positioning is advantageous. But, if you don’t consider the negotiation style of your negotiation counterpart, it can be the uncoupling of the negotiation before it starts. Thus, you should be mindful of the persona you project at the beginning stages and throughout a negotiation. You don’t want to turn the other negotiator into a more abstinent opponent if he’s not already one. If such occurs, attempt to mollify him by modifying your demeanor. Be nicer.

Soft Negotiators:

Soft negotiators will display their demeanor by presenting a broad smile upon meeting you and a handshake that is appropriate for the encounter (i.e. not too hard, not too soft). As you engage in the negotiation, assess to what degree this may be a façade. You can accomplish that by noting the slight changes in her personality when discussing points of disagreements. If she’s quick to placate you, make sure you let her win points, too. Doing that will enhance the nice factor.

Hard Negotiators:

Hard negotiators may present more of a challenge when attempting to invoke the nice factor. Depending on the degree of their hardness, moderate to obnoxious, the nice factor may not be appropriate. Instead, you may want to adopt a persona that matches the style of the other negotiator to get him to modify his demeanor. If he does, at that point you may consider implementing the nice factor. Depending on the severity of his modification, being nice can serve as his reward.

Negotiation Reset:

Most negotiators don’t like strong tensions in a negotiation. When tensions reach a certain level, negotiators tend to be more dogmatic about the positions they’ve adopted. So, if you find yourself in such a contention, consider employing the nice factor. This may be in the form of making a concession. If you’re not sure if doing that will ease tensions, preface your offer with an ‘if’ statement (e.g. If I do this, will you do ‘x’?). The point of using the nice factor at this point will be an attempt to reset the negotiation to a less pretentious position.

The more positive the experiential endowment you invoke within the other negotiator, the easier the flow of the negotiation will be. That will lend itself to an enhanced negotiation engagement, which in turn should lead to a greater negotiation outcome for you … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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The Value of Relationships – Long Versus Short

“Life’s value-add is perceptional. Manage your expectations to better assess the sources from which value can be attracted to your life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Are the relationships you’re in adding or subtracting value from your life? It’s a serious question to ponder and one to reassess daily.

Too many times we wake up one morning and realize that we’re no longer living the ideal life we seek. Depending on the severity of that realization, we go into a state of panic, brought on by thoughts of uneasiness. You know when things aren’t right in your life! It’s usually a terse feeling that emanates from your gut that delivers the message. Then, you may appear to be erratic to those who know you, which may cause them to reevaluate the value you’re bringing to their life. That can set off a vicious cycle fraught with angst and anxiety. The question then becomes, what’s a person to do to maintain some sense of equilibrium in their life? The answer lies in the relationships you have with others.

If you find yourself in toxic relationships, at work, at home, etc., change them! Seek to alter the dynamics of the relationships that drag you down emotionally and/or physically. It may be difficult to do but consider the cost of your sanity, your wellbeing. Weigh the cost of that against the difficulty that change might require.

When engaging with people, consider the value you add to their life and they to yours. Some people will be with you for life (long-term) others for a season (short-term). Accept this mentally, understand it and don’t allow it to become a conundrum when it’s time to move on. Don’t get wrapped up thinking that you have to stay with people due to the time you’ve known them; such thoughts will make you sentimental, which will jade your emotions and thought process about moving on. There are others that want to add value to your life, but you won’t find them holding on to those that don’t.

When you know you’re in short-term environments, treat those in it as though they may become long-term associates. Doing so may turn them into long-term allies, but don’t become fixated on the thought that they’ll be with you through thick and thin. Having such a mindset will allow moving on to be less jerky. If someone stays in your life longer than what had been anticipated, because they were adding value, be thankful. You’ve been blessed … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

With some people, a negotiation may be transactional, not intended to be of long-term value. That’s okay. Knowing the parameters of this type of relationship allows you to be better positioned to engage in the negotiation. After all, when you negotiate, you never know who will truly fit into a long-term relationship until you examine their values. Evaluate such closely and from different perspectives. What you eventually find may not be what you initially saw, and what you initially saw may be something that you initially didn’t expect.

The point is, keep your emotions grounded in all of your relationships. Accept people for the value they add to your life, and the value you add to theirs.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#NegotiatingWithABully #relationships #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #Psychology #Perception #ControlLife #Control #leadership #HowToImproveYourself #Achievement



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How Economics Betrays Business Leaders Every Day

I hear even highly-respected consultants and business leaders express dangerous misconceptions about price and discounting. I suspect it’s because so many people took basic economics to heart without digging deeper into the underlying assumptions or learning the true role of pricing. No thanks to economics, we often mis-

apply the supply/demand relationship we learned in our introductory Econ courses. You could not make a bigger mistake.

The demand curve is a foundational concept in economics. The law of demand states that lower prices incentivize higher demand (in units). The principle is correct, but only under artificial conditions. Rather, my decades of work in pricing and value have driven a conclusion that most businesses grossly mis-apply supply/demand analysis in the real world.

I’ve met multiple sales people, sales leaders and CEOs who rationalize indiscriminate discounting. Presumably, they are relying on a misunderstanding of the demand curve. This is far more than mere misinterpretation of the law of demand; it kills businesses.

Let’s review: the demand curve represents aggregated behavior of for a commodity: as price falls, additional customers appear, willing to pay the lower price.

Does dropping your price really help win that deal?

The demand curve correctly states assumes that value for your offer is different for each individual. Prospective customers compare any given price against perceived value. As price drops, demand increases when a customer who formerly perceived inadequate value now perceives a positive value from purchasing. Unfortunately, when you capture a sale from that marginal user who perceives borderline value, you simultaneously just trained all of your higher-value users to expect discounts.

While the perceived value of a product or service can – and is – often individual, it isn’t fixed. Value is a perception, and perceptions change. Perceptions of desirability of an outcome, adequacy of substitutes, and environmental/extraneous considerations change constantly. In fact, this is why the sales profession exists.

Drop your price without knowing your value? Stop it!

The demand curve assumes that your product or services is a “fungible” commodity: all units of the same product or service are identical replacements for each other.. That is, it assumes that you have no differentiation. This is ridiculous. For instance compare the price of a one ounce pure gold bar from a no-name mint vs. a one ounce Krugerrand. The demand function you learned in school ignores differentiating features, branding, distribution, availability, support/service, durability, etc. This was done so that the math works more easily. While there is some great advanced economics work that incorporates differentiation, you probably never learned about it. Pity.

Another way that the real world differs from economic models: Customers don’t have perfect information. When your customers don’t know about all alternatives, don’t fully understand value-in-use, or all the ways that your offer provides value to them and their company, they don’t make “economically efficient” decisions. Imagine a prospect who hasn’t figured out that ROI for a contemplated purchase is over 500%. Discounting isn’t the missing selling behavior…it just creates a discount-accustomed buyer. Or worse, makes them question any value which they had placed in the service. Worst of all, there was no reason to discount, and that every dollar of price drop came out of the seller’s profit line.

For these reasons, you should shift a marginal customer who perceives inadequate value to tip in your favor. This avoids the collateral damage to your existing customers willing to pay your existing price.

Your price isn’t just the effect, it’s the cause.

Your price isn’t just a cost figure a customer weighs against your offer’s value. Because of the confusing plethora of differentiation in the real world, consumers use price as an indicator of value. Your price declares your value — or your lack of it. Imagine: you are the incoming CEO of a company that outgrew its peers for decades at a price premium and without discounting before you entered the job. When you encourage sellers to start discounting to “win” deals, what do you think you’re doing to the brand?

My work on value and price

Bottom line: discounting to gain sales is only a smart choice if you, your marketing group, your customer service people, your product group, and your sellers are all powerless to grow customer perceptions of value. I help under-powered clients.

When I work with clients, we usually find that their offers are priced well below the customer’s true value. This doesn’t necessarily mean we raise prices, but almost always helps them see that discounting is merely shipping profit dollars out the door to their customers.

Don’t be “that guy”. Or “that woman”.

The only kind of value there is: customer-perceived value. It’s impossible to have value that the customer hasn’t validated yet…you don’t have value; just a value proposition. Customer-focused conversations and interactions which get your prospects to validate value is the difference.

I’m happy to help you on your journey to understand how you can capture the value your company earns in the form of pricing power. Comment below or reach out to me directly to discuss in more detail.

To your success!

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