It is commonly taught that you should let the other guy go first in negotiations, in case what they want from you is much less than you were prepared to pay.
That makes sense and is a decent strategy, but going second has a big disadvantage as well. If the first guy throws out an extreme number, it stretches you, whether you like it or not. It’s called “anchoring”.
If the other party is a shark or just unrealistic, and you let them go first, it becomes the starting point. When that happens and they want much more from you than you had in mind for example, the statistically common, but not necessarily wise thing to do, is split the difference. In that situation, the other party just won big.
Remember Herod? It was his birthday and his wife’s daughter danced at the party, greatly pleasing him, so he offered (with an oath) to give her whatever she wanted. (He let her go first.)
After consulting with her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. This made Herod sorry for letting his wife’s daughter name the price. The Scripture says that because of his oath and those that who sat with him, he agreed.
She anchored the price very high and because he had let her go first in the sight and hearing of many witnesses, he granted her request. Countering her offer was not an option in that case.
So which should you do? Go first or go second? Tune in tomorrow and I will give you what I believe to be the best answer for every occasion.
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