Priceline Negotiators is a series of TV commercials featuring William Shatner, Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame. Recently added to the series is Kelly Cuoco playing The Negotiator’s daughter. Below is the Priceline Negotiators Trust Me commercial.
The Priceline blurb on their youtube site reads: “Why should you trust her? She’s a great negotiator and she’ll get exclusive hotel deals just for you!”
In the ad you’ll see the Negotiator employ some negotiating tactics; as used here they are actually more like tricks. They’re light-hearted and poke some fun at the seriousness we often attach to negotiating and we like the outlook. Taking the tension, apprehension and conflict out of the process can help a negotiator approach the task with a more productive attitude: it’s not such a grave and arduous ordeal to be dreaded but an opportunity to have some fun while trying to create a better deal.
One tactic used is the old Bugs Bunny (vs Daffy Duck), Duck Season, Rabbit Season ploy when haggling over a percentage discount with a hotelier. It works for her here but she’s a professional. In other words “Don’t try this at home (or work!).”
Another one she uses is the up and down head nod, coaxing the other party to mirror it back, implying a “yes” or agreement position. Your mileage may vary with this one.
But then, in a flashback scene to her as a little girl, she calmly asks the ice cream vendor, “Can I get an upgrade?” This scene is shown to reinforce her claim that she’s been doing this for 20 years and we can trust her. I like this one: we should always ask!
It can’t hurt and we know what we get when we don’t ask: nothing. You never know what might happen. Once while showing my I.D. for a NY to LA flight, I casually said to the airline counter person, “Hey look, today’s my birthday – can I get an upgrade to first class?” Miraculously, I got it. I say miraculously, because after many, many attempts and failures, I’d given up asking – shame on me. The point is learning to ask and always trying to do a little bit better should become a life-long habit in our personal life and on the job on behalf of our employers. By learning all we can about negotiating and by practicing it steadily for 20 years, we too can say “trust me, I’m a great negotiator.”