How to Use All Or Nothing Negotiation Techniques Successfully

During times of negotiation – whether they relate to 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 the consequences typically are for both parties. All or nothing propositions are used when people ask for something big and out of the ordinary. These requests are often 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 points to remember in your attempts at getting what you want in a, perhaps, drastic way.

 


Do Not Cast Blame: Operate With a Calm, Positive Mind-frame


All or nothing propositions can be nerve-wracking. The act of sliding all your chips toward the center of the table introduces the risk that those you’re playing against now have an opportunity to claim them all. The risk of coming up with “nothing,” in these propositions, often entices people to become defensive, uptight, anxious, and combative. In the heat of negotiation, you’ll be enticed to voice negative reasons for why you deserve to get what you’re asking for. An example of a negative reason, would be being mistreated all year at work by upper management, thereby deserving a raise come time for contract renegotiation.

Don’t point out what others have done wrong in an effort to get more from them. Others’ shortcomings may seem like valid reasons to ask for more during negotiation, however, it is not a strategic method in actually attaining what you’re asking for. Being combative, negative, and unforgiving in your reasoning as to why you’re asking for it “all,” will place those you’re asking in a defensive position. Inherent to the emotion you put out and rile up in others, barriers between yourself and them will be put up. In being blamed for your big proposals, the people you’re negotiating with will not want to confirm the negative reasons you cite by agreeing with your asks.

For instance, if you cite the act of being unfairly treated at work as your reason for asking for a raise, the acceptance of that proposal will mean an agreement with your reasons for it. Why would your employer agree to mistreating you, even if they know they have?

Be calm in your approach during all or nothing negotiations, and remember, always strive to allude to being a team with those you negotiate with. Mention how much fun you’ve had working for your managers, and just how much you grew under them for instance. Mention that you want to continue growing, improving, and providing value to the entity you’re negotiating with.

As others see that you’re negotiating from a place of peace and positivity, they’ll be enticed to consider you to be absolutely confident in the value you bring to the table. They’ll be likelier to agree with your reasoning for your proposition, as they’d want to be labelled positive things. Whether it means electing to visit your choice of restaurant, or electing to agree with your request for a raise, approaching the negotiations you have with others from a wholesome, positive perspective will improve your chances.

 


Become Difficult To Replace, and Communicate That Notion


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, 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 become 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.

During times of negotiation, calmly state the reasons for why you’re difficult to replace. Cite the experience you’ve gained in your position, and communicate what other things you’d bring to the table that nobody else can. Remember, the threat of you leaving doesn’t rest on your awesome personality or aesthetic facial features. The threat of you leaving is built on the fear of missing out on what you have to offer, that nobody else can. Analyze your skills in the domain you negotiate in through an unbiased lens, and be honest with what the people you negotiate will miss out on should you leave.

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. Don’t negotiate with the expectation of walking away, as your demands will begin to veer into unrealistic realms. Being okay with walking away, entails voicing demands which would result in the chance of walking away, but not the expectation. In all or nothing propositions, you don’t have free reign to ask for absolutely anything you want. Your demands should straddle the thin line between being labelled as warranted, and “too much.”

Being fully committed to your demands will require you to be prepared and okay with the possibility 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 telltale 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 being backed 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. As you negotiate with your audience, cite past examples of similar, but smaller, situations playing out in a favorable manner. Serve as a simple refresher of their memory surrounding certain things in an effort to downplay the size of the current ask in question.

Being honest in your reasoning, and being honest with your reasoning, is of critical importance during this phase. If you request to permanently transition to working from home, past experiences of working from home during times you weren’t feeling well should have turned out well. If you are honest in your reasoning, your proposal would be built on evidence of past experiences working out well. If you are honest with your reasoning, you wouldn’t be shy in voicing that same reason to those you’re negotiating with.

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.

 

Next in line:

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Employees’ Displeasure

Book Recommendation: 

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

 



Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.