March 28


Should You Be The First to Offer in a Negotiation?

By Michael Q. Pink

March 28, 2023

I promised yesterday to show you the advantage of knowledge when it comes to negotiating and whether it was best to go first or last.

Today, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of going first, and when it makes sense to do that.

Before I make my case, it is important to note that neither first nor last is always right. It takes another element which I’ll cover on Friday, to make the correct call.

In 2 Chronicles 2, we read that Solomon asked the Phoenician King Hiram for skilled laborers and plenty of fine lumber to build the temple.

It’s interesting to note that before Solomon made his offer to Hiram, he sold him on the vision, describing the grandeur and purpose of the temple. Let that sink in.

After laying out a compelling vision of something bigger than themselves, Solomon then laid out what he needed from Hiram and what he was willing to pay. Solomon went first.

Another point of wisdom... Solomon paid for all that timber and skilled labor with wheat, barley, wine and oil instead of gold or silver.

Why is that significant?

Because he was paying with something that will replace itself in the next harvest, whereas gold or silver will not.

That aside, we see that Hiram accepted the offer.

I submit that Solomon knew the value of what he was offering and the value of what he was getting. He was most likely following a principle modeled in nature and discussed at length in my Rainforest Strategy book, of paying with what you have in excess, for something the other party has in excess, thereby saving a ton of money while simultaneously benefiting both parties.

I used that strategy (called the Brazil Nut Effect) to successfully trade some of my training for a full-page ad in a Success Magazine for a year! It was priced at $63,000 per ad, but only cost me my expertise, which once I gave it, I still had it! Selah!

(Shameless plug: If you like this kind of business insight consider joining the Jesus School of Business or at the very least, get your hands on a set of God’s Best Kept Secrets!)

The downside of going first in a negotiation is if you don’t know your value to the other party or how they perceive their value to you, then you may well be offering far more than they were willing to accept from you.

There’s a moral lesson here as well... Just because you can negotiate a better price doesn’t always mean you should. If you always brutalize the other party in negotiations, not only is that not Biblical, but it will, over time, severely hurt your reputation.

I’m trying to shorten my blogs, so I will continue this tomorrow with the rationale for going second in a negotiation and when you should choose that option.

Don’t forget to comment and share this blog, join the Facebook group and like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

See you tomorrow.

Michael Q. Pink

About the author

Michael is America's leading authority on applying Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law to sales and business and has authored 19 books including The Bible Incorporated, Selling Among Wolves and God's Best Kept Secrets. Using that knowledge, he has helped thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs experience radical transformation in their lives and careers, including helping a start-up with 3 struggling sales reps turn the corner and become the 16th fastest growing company on the INC 500 list. 

  • The only negotiation I’ve ever done, (to my knowledge anyway) was with dancing classes. Unfortunately, it was just here and there. So not much experience, if that’s what it should be called. For the past few years, I’m sensing more to write about the wisdom and revelation and how to about Biblical dance etc. than to go back to that. Now that I have a trainee, it seems best to polish or find out the best way to negotiate with her certain things. Growing spurts, ouch!

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