Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of

GASP – how to respond to a counter-offer

Posted by markharrison on September 5, 2006

When you hear a price that you don’t like – NO SCRAP THAT – when you hear a price, ANY price, you have got to flinch.

You have got to flinch visibly, or you have got to GASP audibly over the phone. You have got to do everything that you can to make the other person feel uncomfortable, that you do not like their figure.

At my seminars I explain that I am about to try and sell them something. Now the price I ask is probably a little more than they are likely to want to pay. (I do however point out that if anyone is stupid enough to agree to my asking price, that I have witnesses in the room.) The purpose of this set-up is not to try and rip them off by asking far, far too much, it is to get them practising the Flinch and GASP. It has got to be practiced so often that it becomes automatic.

I’ll make the offer to those assembled:

“My drinking glass, and it is not just any old drinking glass but the one I am using at that moment, exclusively filled with the local tap water, with maybe a hint of lemon for flavour. Remember the longer that they leave it the lower the water level gets as I take a drink; so the quicker they agree to the deal the more they are going to get. … This glass with the water is available to them for … ONLY … £169.00”

They are very good at flinching when I offer them something £168 more than it is worth.

But I suspect most are probably fairly bad at flinching when someone is offering you a property at £20,000 more than it is worth. Which would you rather do, pay twenty grand too much for something or £150 too much for something?

You have got to flinch whenever an Estate Agent mentions a figure. You have got to flinch whenever a vendor mentions a figure. BUT if you are only doing it with property it means that it won’t be automatic enough. You have got to learn to flinch at car salesmen. You have got to learn to flinch at the checkout price in the supermarket. You have got to flinch at the monitor when you are shopping at

Do this at websites to practice the reflex. Has Amazon ever taken a penny off my shopping cart total because I have flinched at the monitor? NO. Has getting so good at flinching at prices saved me tens to hundreds of thousand pounds over the last ten years? Yes, absolutely!


3 Responses to “GASP – how to respond to a counter-offer”

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