It’s no secret that negotiating is one of the most difficult things to do at work. How do some people manage to get what they want in every situation?
It’s all about trading unequally valued elements.
First, let me explain what an unequally valued element is. If the name does not ring a bell, they are elements that have different perceived value to you and to the other party on the negotiation. For example a few months ago I was trying to sell a digital marketing course to one of the most important agencies in the world, as we went through the negotiation they thought my price was too high and they wanted it for less. Instead of accepting the lower price, I wanted to trade a unequally valued element. I offered to share 30 of my digital marketing presentations that I’ve used throughout the year, and they accepted the offer.
What happened there? I wanted them to pay the price so I needed to add another element to the negotiation. I didn’t want to throw a few more hours of content into their course, instead I shared a folder full of great presentations with them. This created a lot of value for them because now they have a huge library of content to learn from. For me this was very easy, the presentations were already created and the cost for me was close to nothing.
We have to understand that the only element of negotiation that has equal value to both parties involved is money (and maybe time, because you know, time = money). Any other piece has a different value for both sides of the deal. You must find what are the low value elements for you, that create extremely high value for the other side or vice versa. Once you find them, it’s much easier to get a better deal for both sides.
You don’t want the negotiation to be only about money.
So, now that you know this trading hack, you can apply it anywhere. Whether you are negotiating extra topping on your latte macchiato or employee perks at your firm, the principle remains the same.