An Awesome Negotiation Technique You Wish You Knew Sooner

This is one of the easiest and most under appreciated negotiation techniques I know. I’ve used it to get into celebrity parties and to negotiate better salaries. It works for anything whereby you need to get something beyond what is initially on offer.

So you arrive at the picture framer.

Walk directly to a member of staff who looks qualified enough to issue discounts but inexperienced enough to draw an hourly wage, and thus not invested in the notion of profit. These people are the most common type of employee.

Start by saying you’re interested in getting 5 X $50 picture frames built – secretly of course, you want 15.

They will give you an initial quote.

5 @ $50 = $250

Feign a ponder. Ask arbitrary questions. Ask for the price breakdown again. Then ask for a discount, you should be able to get an easy 10% off the top. Most places account for this in their pricing so it should be straightforward.

5 @ $45 = $225 – Getting warmed up.

Talk about how much you love the quality of their frames. After quality, move onto the quantity. Ask what they could do if you doubled the order. They’ll have a think and come back with something like -15%.

10 @ $42.5 = $425 – Not bad.

Finally, hesitantly bump your order up to 15 frames, but with the condition they knock 20% off. Make some joke about being a starving artist, smile and put your hand out to shake on it. They won’t leave you hanging – pun intended.

15 @ $40 = $600 – …and shake.

Most people would have paid $750, but you didn’t, you paid $600. You saved $150, which is the equivalent of almost 4 frames (at the new price of $40).

By staggering the negotiation, you can strike a better deal at every interval. Once you’ve gained land, you’ve gained land. It’s hard for them to back pedal. Apply this same staggered negotiation technique to businesses of scale and the difference can be mind blowing. Some call it the Nibble, and it works.


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