Negotiating Tip #27:
The First Step in Negotiating by Text is Getting Your Text Read
Once, much negotiating was done by telephone. Now, texting is king. On average in 2018, American adults are texting about 30 times a day, twice what they did back in 2011. Many if not most texts are ignored. How do you get the other side to pay attention to your new offer? Or get your suppliers to answer your query about the contract you have with them?
Drawing on her five years as the *New York Times* Op-Ed editor, Trish Hall wrote “How to Get Every Email Returned”, citing what she called “some deep psychological truths”. Here are some points for negotiators:
* Don’t mislead. People get angry if misled.
* Don’t expect much from citing facts. As Hall put it, “Facts don’t matter all that much as a tool in persuasion. Research going back decades, confirmed again and again, shows that people have a preference for the information that matches what they already believe, and they avoid facts that might disabuse them of their notions.”
* Get to the point. Don’t ramble on. Show you know what matters most.
* Ask for what you want. Hall wrote, “Research shows that even strangers are more willing to help than we expect. Don’t apologize, and be direct. If you do ask and you’re rejected, you’ve lost nothing.”
* Show you understand the other side. Hall’s advice is, “If you are warm and friendly and seem like you’ve tried to understand me, I’ll be more likely to go along with you.” A key approach is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answer.