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The psychology of negotiation

The psychology of negotiation

Potential clients are crying out for the one thing so many businesses fail to provide: They want to be understood! When you approach prospects, ask them: “Do you have any situations in your company that our combined expertise can solve?”.

Psychologically, by substituting the word “situations” for problems, you are more likely to get a positive response. Also, by using the term “combined or mutual expertise” you are telling them you respect their valuable knowledge. Remember Stephen Covey’s advice from his ground-breaking book: “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” - Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

So tell your clients you want to really understand their needs above everything else, and you’ll be so far ahead of your competition, they’ll be left scrambling in the dust.

A long forgotten response secret

Philippa Davies, psychologist and expert in communication skills to heads of state and business leaders, says: “People respond more to what they are going to lose than to what they are going to gain.”She adds: “It’s very powerful when you explain to prospects they will probably lose market share to their main competitors if they don’t adopt your ideas.” Ask yourself:

What will my customers stand to lose if they do not buy my service or product?

Powerful scientific discovery

Science discovered the human brain finds lists of features boring we switch off. So be creative and turn your service or product into a picture! This secret technique is used in memory retention strategies.

For example, do you sell hotel rooms at $100 a night?, or do you sell Romantic Vacations with 4-Poster Beds and Champagne on Ice! Never sell a generic product or service. Create your own appealing picture, sit back, and watch your sales soar.

Pretty picture

Did you know you’ll increase your sales by using appealing photographs of typical users on your packaging?

Why is this? Well, it humanizes your product or service and prospects perceive you to be more professional and trustworthy.

You can also take advantage of this powerful tip for your promotional brochures and website. For one-person home-based businesses, always include your photo on your letterhead and other sales literature.

Priceless pricing secrets

Let’s take a closer look at pricing for success. Psychologists tell us that prices ending in “7” sell more than prices ending in “9”, for example, $1.97 will probably be more powerful than $1.99. Do you use this technique? Test it and see.

Do be aware that if you sell a prestigious product or service, this will “cheapen” its image, so avoid this strategy for expensive products.

You can also lower your price if customers buy larger quantities. For instance, $40 for one or $97 for 3.

Yet another powerful psychological pricing strategy is using a technique that appears to lower the value of your product.

For example, if you charge $500 per year for your service, you can offer this for “less than $10 per week”. It’s the same price eventually; however, can you see why this is more appealing? $10 will attract more immediate attention than a whopping $500.

21st century impostors

Evolutionary Psychology tells us our hunter-gatherer instincts make us take risks only when we encounter danger. Interestingly, the maximum size of these hunger-gatherer groups was a maximum of 150 people. Therefore, larger businesses need to break down their workforce into smaller groups of people. To quote Richard Koch, we are 21st century impostors driven by Neolithic genes. Business units of less than 50 people have proved to be very effective.

People are also charmed by status and responsibility. So create special positions for your staff, for example, Leader of Team A, and acknowledge special achievements with regular awards.

And don’t forget to address that risk aversion factor in us all.

Make sure you have the best guarantees of satisfaction around. When you take away the risk of buying your product or service, you’ll encourage more people to become your customers.

Soviet research

Wallace D. Wattles, in his 1910 classic text, “The Science of Getting Rich”also emphasizes the point of becoming rich by being creative and not competitive. This is supported by business guru, Richard Koch, who quotes Soviet Scientist, G F Gause and his interesting experiments on small organisms.

The results show the business world that it cannot expect to prosper if it competes in the same market place as a competitor. If your competitor can invade you, and you can’t reciprocate, then you are in deep trouble. Therefore, don’t start a business where you can’t enter some of your competitor’s markets but it can enter all of yours.

The big secret for any small business is to specialize in an area where you are substantially different from your rivals and put all your energy and resources into those areas.

The greatest secret finally revealed

It doesn’t matter if you have a world-beating product or service and innovative marketing, if you don’t carry out the following four procedures every day, you’re guaranteed to become just another business failure.

Wallace D. Wattles, in his 1910 classic text, “The Science of Getting Rich”, and Robert Collier, in his amazing book, “Secret of the Ages, give away the following secrets:

  1. Form a precise image in your mind of what you want to achieve.
  2. Then comes the big secret: Believe, really believe, that you’ll reap the rewards you are asking for.
  3. Practice gratitude daily for all the great new ideas and successes that are coming your way.
  4. Finally, set about putting into place the vehicle to achieve what you are thinking about. If this is your business, then do all you can each day, effectively, so you are putting yourself in a position to receive what you are asking.

And that’s it! You really do become what you think about!

A future of growth

When you start to apply these ground-breaking principles in your business, you’ll experience unprecedented levels of growth. So get started right now, and look forward to a rosy future.


Brian Li is head of the UK’s Business Growth Centre



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