You’ll have to do better than that.
Posted by markharrison on October 30, 2006
“You’ll have to do better than that”.
These words are a familiar friend to the professional negotiator, because, like so many tactics, sometimes they work.
I’ve used these words several times, and have various case studies – from both my own experience, and those who’ve fed back to me after going on my training courses – that this phrase has earned £5,000.
£5,000 for 7 words – that’s a pay rate of £714 per word.
Now, when I say that these are familiar, I am not joking – the Economist Guide to Negotiation (not exactly bed-time reading, but a great book otherwise) has an index entry for “Noah’s Ark”, and makes the joke that this phrase is so old, Noah took two of them with him onto the eponymous boat.
I don’t really rely on the Economist for my humour consultancy, but it’s a fair point. They are hardly a creative technique.
But does that matter? In Property Negotiation, no one gives out awards for style – there is no Property Negotiators Academy Dinner with a black-tie dress code and long acceptance speeches. The test for the negotiatior is commercial success…
… and that’s why I’m still using that phrase – “You’ll have to do better than that.”