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The Psychology of

A checklist of tactics to optimize your deal.

Before a Negotiation

Writing $95,000 for an average salary

Gather Benchmark Data Before Negotiating

Determine the type of deal that you should be receiving.

Person applying to multiple jobs

Enhance Your BATNAs Before a Negotiation

Job seekers should interview at multiple companies to reduce reliance on a single company.

A calendar of weather with a sunny day circled

Negotiate on Days With Nice Weather

You feel happier in good weather, so you're more likely to help people.

Calendar with "Negotiation" scheduled between 9 and 10am

Negotiate in the Mornings

Suggest an early time, perhaps 8:00 to 10:00am.

Negotiation with female in face-to-face setting, and negotiation with man vis email

Negotiate With Men Via Email (and Women Face-to-Face)

Face-to-face has more tension, so people resort to their instinctive gender roles: Women are caring. Men are aggressive.

"I reject that offer" crossed out and replaced with "Let's brainstorm more"

Avoid Negotiation Terminology

Even simple words like “accepting” and “rejecting” increase aggressive tendencies.

Calendar with "Negotiation", followed by "Review Contract"

Schedule a Future Interaction Before a Negotiation

Your counterpart will negotiate less aggressively if you schedule a future time to meet.

Calendar invite that says "Nick and Dave"

Pair Names in a Calendar Invite

Positive feelings from their name will transfer to your name.

During a Negotiation

Man saying "I like long walks on the beach"

Schmooze Over Personal Details Before Negotiating

People receive better deals when they schmooze beforehand.

Pastries and coffee

Bring Pastries and Coffee to a Negotiation

This tactic seems cute — but it’s devious.

Person saying "Here are some slides from our internal training"

Frame Sales Information as Training Information

Your deck shouldn't be a “sales” presentation meant to persuade.

Two people negotiation with one person sitting in a much smaller chair

Give Your Negotiation Counterpart a Low Soft Chair

Change the body language of your counterpart to reduce their power.

Person during a job interview who tells the interviewer that they are interviewing at other places

Mention Your BATNAs During a Negotiation

Your counterpart will negotiate less aggressively when they hear your alternative options.

Person during a negotiation who says "I hate to ask, but"

Avoid Weak Language While Negotiating

You receive better deals with firm and confident language.

Person who says "That offer is lower than I was expecting"

Show Anger and Disappointment During a Negotiation

Anger and disappointment get larger concessions.

Job offer includes salary, commissions, benefits, vacation, remote work policy

Address All Relevant Terms During a Negotiation

Job negotiations involve more than just salary. Addressing all terms will help both parties find the best possible deal.

Negotiator who prioritizes salary, then raises, then remote work vs a candidate who prioritizes remote work, then salary, then raises

Rank Order the Terms of a Negotiation

You might value commissions, while your employer can be flexible with commissions.

Instead of saying "benefit 1 and benefit 2" in the same line, break them out into separate lines

Separate Their Gains Into Individual Components

Separate gains when possible so that they feel more impactful.

Person and counterpart during a negotiation who receive the same number of benefits

Depict Visual Balance With Negotiation Counterpart

Your list of perks should never seem visually longer.

Person says "I'd like $90k" during a negotiation

Make the First Offer During a Negotiation

Request a high anchor so that your counterpart searches for the best qualities that would justify this cost.

I'm looking for $93-$95k

Ask for a High Precise Range

Requesting a precise range (e.g., $81k to $84k) gets the best deals from a negotiation.

Person says "I could do $90k if you offer health insurance"

Add a Simple Contingency to Offers

Contingencies make it seem like you are sacrificing, so buyers want to reciprocate by accepting.

Person asking "What's your yearly revenue" instead of asking for monthly revenue

Prime a Counterpart's Ability to Execute the Deal

Help your counterpart see the feasibility of finalizing the deal.

People negotiating a job salary. "How about $85k?" then person doesn't reply. Then the original speaker changes offer: "We could go to $90k"

Pause After Your Counterpart Makes an Offer

Your counterpart might interpret your silence as indecision, prompting them to interject and raise the offer.

Job interview asking "How' $85k" and candidate replies "That could work if you adjust the benefits"

Always Counter the First Offer

Countering is good for both parties. Counterparts feel regret if you accept their first offer because it signals they could have received more.

Job interviewer saying "We can't do $95k" and candidate asks "Budget issue?"

Diagnose Unspoken Reasons During a Negotiation

Diagnosing the reason helps you find a solution.

Man in front of a living room background with and without a blur. The version without the blur performs better

Show Your Background While Video Chatting

Salespeople prefer to hide their backgrounds while video chatting, but customers are more persuaded when they see real backgrounds.

After a Negotiation

Person writing contract

Be the First to Draft the Contract

Not only will you finalize the agreement faster, but you can also control the terms.