The Art of Negotiation: Unveiling the Power of ‘Let’s Split the Difference’

In the realm of negotiation, the mantra often echoed is “never split the difference.” However, like many aspects of life, the reality is nuanced. This article aims to shed light on how the ‘let’s split the difference’ (LSTD) approach can be strategically employed to your advantage, particularly in the B2C world.

The underlying principle of “never splitting the difference” is rooted in the idea that doing so could potentially leave value on the table. While this holds true in the context of professional B2B negotiations, there’s room for a different approach in the B2C landscape.

When executed thoughtfully, the LSTD close can lead to significant victories. Its effectiveness lies in its appeal to our innate sense of ‘fairness,’ a concept often overlooked in traditional negotiation textbooks but universally understood by most individuals.

In professional negotiations, fairness might be considered an arbitrary factor, but in the real world, it holds immense sway. When you propose the idea of splitting the difference, it often resonates as a fair compromise, particularly with individuals who aren’t seasoned negotiators themselves.

The key to leveraging the LSTD close is setting up the negotiation in a way that ensures a satisfactory outcome when the compromise is reached. If the split results in a figure that aligns with your objectives, there’s no reason not to embrace this strategy.

Consider this scenario: I propose selling a product to you at £100, and you counter with a suggestion of £70. Employing the LSTD close, I suggest meeting in the middle at £85. You, perceiving this as a fair compromise, agree. Both parties walk away content, but behind the scenes, I am elated because I had strategically anchored at £100 to utilise the LSTD close, appealing to your sense of fairness.

It’s essential to note that while negotiation tactics can be powerful, the ultimate goal should be offering solutions that people genuinely want and are willing to pay for. In our own business, we prioritise understanding our customers’ needs and delivering value, steering clear of relying solely on closing techniques.

In conclusion, the art of negotiation involves a delicate dance, and the ‘let’s split the difference’ close can be a potent move when executed with finesse. By tapping into the human inclination towards fairness, this strategy has the potential to create mutually satisfying outcomes. To delve deeper into this and other techniques from the realms of sales and marketing, consider exploring our public or on-demand video programs. Learn the skills that can elevate your negotiation game and drive success in your business endeavours.

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