One of my favorite negotiating techniques is the grimace. The grimace is when an offer is made, and no matter how appealing it may be, you grimace and take a step back in mild pain. It sends the message that the offer isn’t sitting with you, even if it does.
I’m not a big fan of manipulative tactics. However, I am a fan of the psychology of things. In sales and negotiations “win-win” is critical. It’s proven that if someone takes the first offer or seems happy about the first offer the person who made it ends up feeling they left money on the table and could have gotten a better deal.
When we grimace we send a message that there is a little bit of pain in the offer. If we agree, you are left feeling you got a good deal and that is important. If it truly does cause a grimace and we dont’ agree, the message is sent the first offer isn’t going to work quickly causing thoughts about a second offer. Add the “pause” to the grimace and you might even get them negotiating with themselves. (The “pause” is after the grimace nothing is said until the other person responds to their own offer.)
Win-win is critical to negotiating. The grimace helps people feel they are getting a good deal and that is a very important feeling.