Here's the secret to nailing your negotiation skills

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Ever feel like you didn’t get the better end of a deal?

It could all be down to how you framed your negotiation proposal.

According to a study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Leuphana University and Saarland University, successful negotiators know the value of word choice when it comes to maximising return.

Here’s an interesting example in the study:

When selling your car, you would either say “I offer you my Toyota for €12,000” or alternatively, “I request a price of €12,000 for my Toyota.”

In both proposals, the objective is the same, but the latter works better for the seller.

That’s because framing your proposal as “my X for your Y” highlights the resource that would be lost if a deal is struck — the money needed for the car. When you emphasise the loss in negotiations, the other party is less willing to make concessions.

Alternative, laying out your proposal as “your Y for my X” draws the attention to what they can gain — your car — and accentuates its value.

“Specifically, the negotiator whose resource is procedurally framed as the salient reference resource of the transaction, either by sending an offer or by receiving a request, is predicted to show a stronger concession aversion, which results in a larger share of individual profits,” the study reads.

Another way to boost your chances at getting the most out of the deal is also to add something extra to the offer.

“Offer to fill up the car. Throw in the winter tires, as well as a bottle of special cleaning fluid for the paintwork. Emphasize what your vis-à-vis will gain – not the money that they would lose if you reached an agreement,” says Roman Trötschel, professor of social and organisational psychology at Leuphana University .

Don’t sell yourself short by lowering the price immediately, he recommends.

“I give you the salmon, and a herring free of charge, and this scrumptious plaice on top. And all of this for only 20 Euros.”

So next time you find yourself haggling or negotiating a pay rise, be smart about your opening proposal. Don’t get carried away by the question of money and choose the best words to maximise your chances at coming out with a deal that’s in your favour.

Now read: 22 Proven Ways To Be A Better Negotiator

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