8 Easy Ways to Increase Your Persuasiveness When Negotiating

We are often trying to persuade or influence someone in our professional and personal lives.  Here I focus specifically on negotiating – whether you are buying a car or negotiating a business transaction. The truth is, people are more likely to give you what you want when they like and trust you.

The psychology of why people say “yes” was the subject of the well-known book by Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and also in Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini.  Below are 8 tips that I compiled while studying this intriguing topic.  I also added a few of my own.

1.   Remember your primary goal.  What is most important for you to achieve?  Keep this front and center in your mind during the negotiation.

2.   Avoid stating a fixed position.  It will be harder for you to back off of it later.

3.   Maintain a conciliatory attitude.  Show that you are open to creating options that work for both of you.

4.   Actively listen to understand.  The more the other person feels you understand her feelings or position, the more likely she will try harder to understand yours.

5.   Mirror what you hear and confirm.  After listening carefully, paraphrase what you heard the other person say and ask him to confirm if you heard correctly.

6.   Ascribe positive attributes to the other person.  If you know the other person well, you might ask yourself what qualities she values.  Does she value honesty, independence, courage?  Then you might share how you observed those qualities on a particular occasion, like her courage.  But be sincere – people can tell if you’re not.

7.   Identify common goals and interests.   Point out areas where you both want the same thing.

8.   Point out how much progress you’ve made so far.  The person will be more willing to stick with the negotiation and see it through to the end.

Try these in your next negotiation and let me know how it goes!


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