When you’re negotiating, needs can kill your position. If you absolutely need something, the other party can use that to drive a harder bargain. Try to leave as many needs at the door as possible to negotiate better.
Photo by Alan Kotok.
While it’s true that you can’t get around some needs, personal finance site Free to Pursue explains that when we think of certain needs as “wouldn’t it be nice” things, we have an easier time walking away. In fact, we often think of some optional things as “needs” when they’re really not. That mindset makes it harder to say no. And if you can’t say no, you can’t effectively negotiate:
When we move every potential acquisition to the “it would be nice”, it means we know we have the power to walk away from a negotiation at any point. When we’re negotiating for a “it would be nice” item, we’re tapping into logic and keeping most emotions — those things that make us act in goofy and unpredictable ways — at bay. It turns us from suckers to deal makers because we become more patient, self-assured and less likely to look for the quick fix.
For example, if you’re out car shopping, you might think you “need” the extra trunk space. You do have kids after all. However, by thinking of that need as a “wouldn’t it be nice,” you have more power to walk away. While this may not work for everything — it’s hard to say no to a job offer if you’ve been looking for six months — there are usually a lot of areas where our “needs” are really things we can walk away from. And that makes them easier to negotiate.