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Make them work for the “no”

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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

28 Contrasting options

People are trained in sales never to offer only one item, which can elicit an immediate “no” response that can end a negotiation. Always offer two or more options – the blue or the red; a stick shift or an automatic; $100 cash-down or a $125 payment-over-six-months plan; a higher-priced or lower-priced model; a new item or a floor demo, or a used, refurbished, or certified preowned item; the most valuable, prestigious, or desirable option for the most money, or the lesser but still valuable, prestigious, or desirable alternative, which is a real bargain! Offering a range of contrasting options increases the possibility of a “yes” and puts more choices, and therefore more distance, in front of a final “no.” Variations on contrasting options exist in almost any field of negotiation. Devising contrasting options is a creative matter that must also take bottom-line profit into account; you don’t want to give beyond your profit margin.

Beyond a pricing difference, the manner in which the options are presented influences the likely outcome. The lower-priced option is often the basic market price for an item of lesser value or quality. You can lower that cost even further and add on extras at an additional cost or, instead, add on extras without additional cost. It’s still a bargain either way, and less than the higher-priced option.

A high/low comparative option is a basic structure. The high or more expensive option is the more prestigious and valuable, and also the least likely choice for the average person. But the high-price choice makes the lower option more appealing and accessible by comparison. Both options should be presented in a positive, even glowing, light. You don’t want to present the high option in a way that demeans or devalues the low option. You simply want the high to make the low seem like a bargain by comparison. Present them both, trusting that those who can afford or are willing to pay for the high will do so; and those who can only afford the low will gladly take advantage of the bargain.


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