March 28


The Pros and Cons of Going Second in Negotiations.

By Michael Q. Pink

March 28, 2023

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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God's Best Kept Secrets for Succeeding in Life & Business Without Breaking a Sweat or Joining The Pack!

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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. 

  • Your recent blog mentioned people getting run over by other people.
    That describes me. A lot. Including running over myself.
    I purchased Rainforest Strategy yesterday. Looking forward to learning how to better position myself. So I don’t get run over by others. Or by me.

    • Hi Don;

      Love your honesty my friend. I doubled your order (no extra charge). You should have the books next week!

  • Michael, thank you for hitting the mark! Just a short story that I learned maybe even from the copier industry. Whenever a prospect was asking for a demo or doing a tradeshow. The prospects without doubt one could observe the bagful filled with presentations and broachers. Knowing that such information at the show would be overwhelming and how much more would it look like on their kitchen table. When it came to booking a meeting I asked how many meeting they arranged from the agents at the show and what were their appointment dates. Once I had that the dates I requested to be the appointment. Knowing through experience that they were often more confused after the trade show, after all the agents presentations also knowing they always pull out the best numbers ie during their feasts. I would bring out a blank sheet of paper only need one page and suggested I could perhaps simplify confusion. First was all things fluctuate the tide, the seasons, interest rates etc. So important to be in the right season. Secondly growth can happen in 3 ways a straight line, a mild wavy line and a more wavier line. In short, interest rates, balanced or income and 3rd was growth. What was the comfort level. Being second or last provided me the insight of what their webs of confusion were and and to simplify all their objects, concerns etc. before I started about my presentation. For me it was about the ability to make things simple and to show them how much I cared about them understanding how things fit according to their needs. Being last at their presentation helped me via a reference to be the first when they had friends or family members who needed help and it put me First on that list! Blessing Michael, thank you for sharing your insight.
    Richard M

  • Hello Michael, I am glad you will review the comments before posted. First mine might be long in and secondly I did not proof read it. Sorry about that just was in the moment. Feel free to edit or I can rewrite without the story. It just every time I read your story or experience it brings remembrance to me how the truth is applied. This worked for me after I left Copytron and moved out to selling Fireplaces my first real selling job a client of Copytron, I worked with them and number of years captured 20% of the BC market in my first 8 months and then came to join you at PP. When we draw from the same living water it is both refreshing and edifying. This is of course not for the post or comments.
    Blessing Michael


  • I make and sell hats. My hubby got a large order from a place. I didn’t go first or second really. I told him what I sell them for he said ok plus pd me a dollar each to tag them. In reality I could have sold for less to him in larger quantities and I didn’t have to set up at craft shows etc. Hubby and the guy decided between them like I wasn’t there! I enjoyed that check!

  • The moral of the story is that Salome (Herodias daughter) had nothing at the end, while she could have had some land if she had chosen correctly. Esther had the same question to think about and chose her people! Since this is about going first or second, it’s a great skill to learn overall. I see it with the kids too. I give them two options to chose from, when they’re a little bit older they’ll start to negotiate about what you have not said, lol! They learn to be powerful people even though they are small.

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