Why the best negotiators are givers

Posted by Matthew Parker

Would you ever consider negotiating at your local supermarket? Can you imagine putting down your basket of groceries at the checkout and asking for a reduced price?

Doesn’t that seem a good way to be politely (or not-so politely) asked to leave the store?

Here’s how I successfully negotiated at a supermarket

Giving is an important idea for successful print industry negotiation

Giving is an important idea for successful print industry negotiation

I was at the fish counter of my local supermarket. I was planning to cook some fish for my dinner. I love cooking, and I have a great recipe for a tuna and rice dish. The tuna always looks great at supermarkets. I love the way that the fishmonger will cut you a lovely tuna steak, to just the thickness that you want.

But I didn’t need a tuna steak for this recipe. I just needed some chunks of tuna. It seemed a shame to spend a lot of money on a tuna steak just to cut it up.

The tail of the tuna never makes good steaks. The tail is too small for this and it is often just thrown away. So I asked the fishmonger if I could pay less for my tuna if I took the tail.

The fishmonger saw that it was a win-win situation. The fishmonger and the supermarket got rid of the tuna tail. And I bought my tuna at a cheaper price.

But the supermarket wouldn’t have given me a price reduction if I hadn’t had something to offer in return.

Good negotiators know that giving achieves great negotiation results

Good negotiators know that giving creates worthwhile relationships. They know that giving is a great way to keep control of a negotiation. And good negotiators know that they will get more if they give.

Negotiators who don’t give can often alienate the other party. Negotiators who don’t give won’t be able to control their negotiations in the same way. Negotiators who don’t give won’t achieve as much from their negotiations.

Negotiations need give and take

If one party wants a big concession from the other side, they are going to need to give something in return. If you give more, you will get more.

As a buyer, if I get the right things in return, I might even pay more.

Why would a buyer pay more?

It may seem odd at first, but let’s consider how this might work. Let’s say that I am buying a marketing brochure. The brochure is a vital sales tool for an important exhibition. The trouble is that the exhibition opens in a couple of days. And no-one told me that a brochure was needed for the exhibition until this morning.

Of course, I could just try and find the cheapest price for the brochure. But let’s say that I found a printer for the brochure who offered me something a little different. Let’s say that this printer was willing to:

  • Deliver an early sample copy for the marketing team tomorrow morning
  • Make a 7am delivery to the exhibition to make sure that my company had everything they needed before the doors opened
  • Guarantee no charge of delivery wasn’t made on time

Wouldn’t that peace of mind be worth paying a little extra for? Wouldn’t it be worth giving a little more in order to win these benefits?

Don’t assume that giving is a sign of weakness

If you give, you should expect something back. A good negotiator gives in order to get what they want.

I didn’t give the supermarket an opportunity to get rid of its tuna tails for no reason. I gave the supermarket that opportunity so that I would get a better price.

Giving is an important concept

Giving is a very powerful way to negotiate successfully. Giving is a great way for sellers to achieve greater profits. And giving is a great way for buyers to create better value for their company.

But giving is also a way for you to achieve more from your own personal negotiations

From this book you will learn a great system for improving your print negotiations, whether you are a buyer or a seller. But you can use this system for yourself as well. You will be able to put this system into practice next time you need to buy a car, or a camera or some clothes. Or even when you are next going to the supermarket.

But whatever you are buying, be prepared to give as well. If you give, you will also achieve a win-win situation with the other party.

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P.S. This article is from my forthcoming book, “The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook”. This will launch in January. To receive another extract “How to avoid using straight line negotiation and giving way on price” sign up here. You’ll also receive updates on the launch and news of a special launch offer.

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