A Simple Move To Improve Your Negotiation Results

Far from being a race off the starting blocks, a lot of the time in negotiations no one wants to go first. We want the other person to start.
We want them to make the first offer so that we know where we stand, and can respond from there.
And this is a mistake.
Sure it may feel more comfortable…but it’s not going to get you the best deal. And that’s because of anchoring.

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Anchoring can get super nerdy, but in a nutshell the concept means that the person who goes first in a negotiation usually gets a better deal. And that’s because our brains are pretty simple. We hold onto the first piece of information, or the first number we hear, and use that as the basis for all of the thought processes that come after.
And that influence has the potential to change our behaviour.

Let’s say you were wanting to charge $15,000 for a project. But your client kicks off the conversation and says that they’re offering $5,000. All of a sudden, that $15k feels reallllly big. And you think you’ll look silly saying it. So instead, you go rogue. You drop your opening proposal to $12,000. You’ve abandoned any strategy and are in pure reaction mode. You’ve been anchored.

So let’s use this to our advantage by going first.


Putting your offer out there first allows you to set expectation for the negotiation and gets you into the driver’s seat - leading, not reacting.

You can even start the anchoring process before you’re sitting down in the formal negotiation.

Posting a price on your website - “engagements starting from $2,500…” that’s anchoring

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Your homework this week is to think of a time when you were anchored by someone else. A time when you ended up changing your strategy - not asking for what you really wanted or needed - because they went first and planted a number or an idea in your brain. It may feel like a crappy memory - but recognizing that it happened means that you can recognize when it may happen again - so you can avoid it next time. Once burned, twice shy, right? See you next time.