Apr 17, 2021

Anchor their emotions

To bend your counterpart’s reality, start out with an accusation audit acknowledging their fears. By anchoring their emotions in preparation for a loss, you ignite their loss aversion so that they’ll jump at the chance to avoid it.

This is particularly useful in a situation of hiring someone for a job that you can’t afford to pay too much for. If you give them an offer straight up and it’s not particularly lucrative, you will not do a good job of convincing them to help you out. A better approach is to acknowledge that your offer isn’t great but you want to give them the opportunity before finding someone else. For example:

I got a lousy proposition for you. We can pay you $X for your services. I know this is well below your usual rate of $Y but this is the most we can afford at this time. Still, I wanted to bring this opportunity to you first before I took it to someone else.

The last sentence here is crucial. It changes the conversation from getting paid less to not losing the deal to another person. This tactic shouldn’t be used to take advantage of people but it is useful in situations where you really can’t afford to pay more.