How to Use All Or Nothing Negotiation Techniques Successfully

During times of negotiation, whether it be towards professional or personal agreements, you’ll be faced with deciding on the type of negotiation techniques to implement. All or nothing  propositions should generally be avoided, as they put you, as well as the people you’re negotiating with in an uncomfortable position. Drastic propositions can turn ugly, and you may find yourself losing your job, your friends, or other relationships you’ve worked long and hard to build. However, the bigger your ask, the larger your threat should become. All or nothing propositions are typically used when people ask for something big and out of the ordinary, and are coupled with serious consequence (e.g. leaving a job) if their demands are to be rejected. If your mind is set on negotiating by using an all or nothing proposition, there are a few things you should remember to ensure of your success. This article aims to bring up a few points to remember during your venture for getting what you want in a drastic way.


Become Difficult To Replace


One of the biggest factors in the success of all or nothing techniques when negotiating for what you want is how disposable you are to the people you are negotiating with. Whether it be for an improved contractual agreement, or for the choice of what you and your friends are going to eat on your night out, you must develop enough need for them to value your presence. An all-or-nothing proposition typically relies on the possibility of you leaving and being absent if the negotiations do not go your way. There needs to be an inherent fear of your departure from professional or social situations, and the development of that fear will stem back a long time. You should develop yourself into someone who is not easily replaceable, whether it be as a worker, customer, or friend.

All or nothing proposals get easier to manage when you are not disposable in the role you have with the people who you’re negotiating with. Your confidence in your demands will be high knowing this fact, and you’ll pose a legitimate worry to those you’re negotiating with. Your use of all or nothing negotiation tactics should be infrequent. Being labelled as the, “boy who cried wolf,” can take place if you consistently threaten your listeners with all-or-nothing demands. The development of your trust, skills, and general value should take place and your demands will be backed by legitimacy as the value that you hold in the eyes of the people you’re negotiating with increases.

The points above are some of the reasons why it is easier to be successful placing all or nothing demands on people that you have a developed relationship with. A salesman you met ten minutes ago at a flea market is less likely to accept an all or nothing proposal from you than a manager who’s worked with you for two years.


Be Okay With Walking Away


Be willing to drop everything and walk away from any deal of this sort that you’re trying to close. There is a difference between expecting to walk away and being prepared to do so. Being fully committed to your demands will require you to be prepared and okay with the fact that things may not go your way. The threat of your backing out of a deal will be exaggerated by how valuable they perceive you to be in your current role, and is enough to give you the confidence you need to make your demands without displaying weakness.

A person who is willing to put it all on the line will be respected for the mere act of doing so. Your commitment to the demands that you make will be evident if you express the possibility of walking away from any current situation at hand. Whether this is a job, a social event, a relationship gone awry, or a negotiation for a car lease, the threat of your departure is the truest sign of an all or nothing proposal.


Build Up to All-or-Nothing Proposals With a Series of Yeses


Utilizing smaller negotiations to build up to a larger one is an effective way of increasing the chances of your all or nothing proposal being accepted. Let’s take the example of negotiating for the ability to permanently work from home with your current employer. Your demand of working from home with the threat of leaving the job is better facilitated if you have previously been successful in asking for just one day of working from home per week. Their agreement to your prior request of working from home for one day a week will serve as a reference when judging whether or not to let you work from home permanently.

As a justification for their agreement, people will use anecdotal past experiences to aid their acceptance of your demand. If you make an all or nothing proposal without developing much of a relationship with your listener, they will have nothing to base their evaluation on in addition to not perceiving you as a valuable relationship to maintain.

Use all or nothing techniques with people who trust and value you, when you’re okay with walking away from a deal, and when you’ve built up to a grand proposal with smaller ones. Do not become a frequent negotiator, and use drastic methods such as these when you’ve evaluated your demands to be too large for average negotiation techniques.

Book Recommendation: 

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

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