If you weren’t a DIY’er before the pandemic, you likely are one now. Over the past year, many of us started all sorts of DIY projects, from baking our own bread to remodeling our own homes. We’ve become such DIY’ers that home improvement and arts & crafts retail company stock prices are up 20% to 50% during that time. Even the price of wood has increased 130% during the pandemic. That said, I was eager to see how many people were also doing their own negotiating. The answer surprised me.
You might be thinking, “Doesn’t everyone do their own negotiating?” The short answer is “no.” We actually use proxies all the time to do our negotiating. Depending on the transaction, we’ll use real estate agents, brokers, or attorneys (and Scotwork too!) to negotiate on our behalf. And how many times have you relied on a friend or loved one to negotiate for you? I can’t tell you how many times I get called to negotiate car purchases!
In our annual Buyer/Seller Survey, we asked, “Which is easier: negotiating a deal on behalf of someone else or negotiating a deal for yourself?” A little more than 50% of sellers selected “yourself” while nearly 60% of buyers selected “on behalf of someone else.” This makes sense, considering that most professional buyers are negotiating on behalf of someone else. I believe they also know what we know: The more emotionally attached you are to a negotiation, the more difficult the negotiation can be.
When we have an emotional attachment to a negotiation, we’re more likely to be fixated on one specific outcome or become extremely partial to our positions. Not only does emotional attachment limit our creativity and flexibility, but it also increases our likelihood of being more competitive than we might have to be. In other words, it deprives us of so many useful tools and tactics with which to negotiate a favorable end result.
Here’s where the DIY dilemma occurs. We also asked, “On a deal that matters a lot to you, would you rather negotiate yourself or have someone else negotiate for you?” Surprisingly, both buyers and sellers selected “do it myself” — over 92%!
Even though the majority of those who negotiate for a living claim that it’s easier to negotiate on behalf of someone else, they would rather DIY the negotiation when it matters most to them. That’s the dilemma, because we’re most emotionally attached — and, therefore, at our most vulnerable — when it matters most to us.
Instead of trying to convince you not to negotiate on your own behalf, let me give you 5 things that you can do when you’re emotionally attached:
Truth be told, I’m one of the 92-percenters. If the deal matters a lot to me, I want to be at the table. However, I’ve done this long enough to know that the more I care about the outcome, the more help I’m going to need.
We Can Help You Combat Emotional Attachment at the Negotiating Table.
Have you found yourself emotionally attached to a negotiation, becoming fixated on one specific outcome or extremely partial to your positions? Has that attachment, in turn, led to less-than-favorable end results? We can help! Drawing on 45 years of real-world negotiating experience, we’ll assist you with getting better deals, saving time, and creating value for all involved — not to mention preserving and even strengthening relationships. Let us partner you with one of our advisers, ensuring that you’ve got the broadest view of your deal.
About the author:
Sure, we could whip up a snappy bio about Brian’s experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and Fortune 500 executive. While we’re at it, we could go on for an afternoon about his 20 years in marketing and advertising, developing brilliant consumer-engagement strategies for the likes of Google, Amazon, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft, and Sony. But knowing Brian, he’d rather we not. Instead, he’d likely ask us to focus on something else — namely, other people ...