A No-Fail Negotiation Strategy

A No-Fail Negotiation Strategy

Negotiating is a fact of life. Imagine how successful you could be with a no-fail negotiation technique. One of the nation’s premier negotiation trainers, The Black Swan Group, has a tip it says is almost always successful regardless of industry or context: To get to yes, eliminate the negatives up front.

Make a list of every unreasonable, unfair, crazy or ridiculous accusation your gut instinct tells you that the other party might say about you, advises The Black Swan group. Don’t deny or hide what you believe the other side does not like or understand about you – those are the things that should be on your list to address immediately. Here are some examples for a kitchen and bath showroom professional meeting with a prospect for the first time:

  • “I bet you believe that you can purchase better online?”
  • “I can understand why you don’t want to be sold.”
  • “I recognize that you don’t want to share budget information because you rightfully fear that you’ll pay too much?”
  • “I’m understand that you might be concerned that problems your friends or family encountered during their renovation projects might happen to you.”

You address the negatives up front because of the way the brain works. Alex Korb’s book, The Upward Spiral, explains that when subjects merely identified negative emotions, they diminished every time. The Black Swan Group claims that’s why it is critical that you don’t deny the negative when using this strategy. You use it to “induce a contemplation of it by your counterpart to trigger the effect.”

It’s also easier to pitch negatives than to convince a prospect of value. The Black Swan Group claims that the equivalent reasons for not doing something weigh three to nine times more heavily on us than the same reasons for doing something. That helps to explain why most of your customers will spend six to 12 months on average researching a project before setting foot in a showroom. That’s why some sales training experts believe you have to show nine times the value in order to make a sale.

When you eliminate the negatives, reasons why a prospect would want to rely on your showroom for their new kitchen or bath take over and it’s easier to get to yes. The Black Swan Group claims that addressing the negatives up front works almost 100% of the time.


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