Victoria Pynchon is an experienced litigator. She shares 5 things about negotiating you might not know.
One of the most useful is “Any Reason Is Far Better Than No Reason.” You may be familiar with this from Robert Cialdini’s “Influence,” where he relates a study that showed when people give a reason, any reason, to cut in a line, they experienced much higher compliance.
“So, go ahead. Take credit for last quarter’s increase in net profits even if you can’t prove it. You don’t have to file a declaration under penalty of perjury or testify under oath on the witness stand. You’re highly unlikely to be cross-examined because your negotiation partner can’t prove that your causal assertion is untrue. Millions of years of “common sense” support your assertion that correlation is causation.
It’s not. But it might as well be.”
This idea is so powerful, it is a core concept of great copywriting. Gary Bencivenga, one of the most successful copywriters in history says, “Give good reasons for these three questions—why you, why true, why now?”
He gives an example, “Not long ago, Slice soft drink came out with a campaign that said it’s a better-tasting soft drink because it contains 10-percent fruit juice. It gave a little reason in the headline—the 10-percent fruit juice—to explain why it tastes better than the average fruit soda.
“And that made all the difference in the world. In a product category that’s renowned for a sky-high failure rate among new products, Slice quickly captured 7 percent of a $30-billion-a-year soft drink market.”
When you are negotiating, give a reason on everything you ask for. You’ll get more of what you want, and have smoother negotiations in the process.