Issue 13 of Negotiation for Creatives
Surprise, surprise! People tend to be easier to the people they like. But does this theory hold for negotiations as well? Well, sometimes.
Remember that we have established that you don’t need to like, agree or even respect the party you are negotiating with in order to be able to reach an agreement that benefits both of you. But we feel it’s our duty to tell you that a lot of research supports the notion that people tend to agree more with those whom they like. Psychologist Robert Cialdini mentions the different forms liking can take:
- Physical attractiveness: sad but true, there is evidence that we go easier on the people we find attractive. Now that you know this, you will, of course, resist this instinct.
- Similarity: birds of a feather stick together. This includes people with a similar background, education, hometown, as well as more peculiar similarities such as “we go to the same gym” or “I too enjoy ramen noodles!”
- Compliments: the oldest trick in the book, right? Still, if you deliver an honest compliment without sounding slimy, you will definitely start off on good terms.
In a sense, liking is the main ingredients in the success of Tupperware. Decades ago, they switched strategy from door-to-door salesmen to letting people (mostly women) host so-called Tupperware parties at home. By doing this, Tupperware would guarantee to have a sales rep that the customer already liked.
How could you get people to like you more? Well, if you knew the answer you might not be reading a micro-course on negotiations right now, would you?
There are subtle ways to make people you’ll do business with like you. But what tactics could work best for you? If you’re the kind of person and business with an outgoing personality, you shouldn’t be afraid to use that to your benefit. Just read this shipping confirmation email that Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby.com, sent out to millions of customers. Spoiler: the email still gets tens of thousands of hits and was a key to the success of CDBaby.com