Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of

Five Negotiation Techniques in One Letter

Posted by markharrison on January 30, 2008

I realised that it had been a while since I’ve blogged about any specific property negotiation techniques, but a letter I’ve just written combines FIVE of the techniques from my negotiation ebook in one single offer.

Obviously, I’m not prepared to give EXACT details, since the negotiation is still ongoing, but here’s what I’ve just done.

Three days after receiving a counter-offer, I’ve written back, with two alternative figures, showing how I arrived at the breakdown to the nearest pound.

    Right, time to take these one at a time:

    “Three days after receiving a counter-offer…”

    • I’m not in any kind of hurry. The last thing I want to do is give the impression that I’m under any time pressure, so I forced myself to wait a couple of days rather than pinging a reply straight back.

    “…I’ve written back…”

    • If possible, I put my offers in writing. There’s lots of research to show that offers received on paper get taken more seriously than figures just read down a phone line.

    “…with two alternative figures,…”

    • The danger of putting a single offer is that the mental choice is “take it or leave it.” Giving what’s known in sales as an “alternate close” makes the choice “option A” or “option B”.

    “showing how I arrived at the breakdown”

    • In the UK, haggling is not well regarded. Hence, I’ve given a detailed breakdown of how I arrived at a price, with subtotals… rather than just saying “I’ll knock off five grand.”

    “to the nearest pound.”

    • Don’t offer round numbers! They look made up, and make people think “he could offer me” (or ask less.) This is why shops sell at £4.99 rather than £5. It’s nothing to do with the “four quid not five”, and everything to do with the “stop customers assuming you’re price-fixing”

    5 Responses to “Five Negotiation Techniques in One Letter”

    1. Ironically, *.99 does look fixed, as does anything ending in 0, 5 or 9 (to me, anyway).

    2. Indeed. Most shops aren’t famous for rapid innovation 🙂

      One mob who do it EXCEPTIONALLY well in my book are Amazon – just go and look at the prices of the books it “recommends” for you, and tell me what you notice!

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