Tuesday, 26 November 2013


In the classic 1949 play ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller the hero Willie Loman’s cry of desperate despair in being made redundant after a long selling life of hard graft is

You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit.”

Negotiation specialist Clive Rich uses the analogy of an orange in a more creative way.

Remember to negotiate the whole package
Peel and all !

He tells a story of an orange on a kitchen table. Opposite each other across the table are two elderly sisters. Both desire the orange. The orange is cut in half and shared. 

Clive Rich’s clever twist on the story is to explain this was not the best result for either sister, since one wanted to eat the orange segments and the other the peel for a cake.

The moral being, if they had been better negotiators they would have been better satisfied.

here are some tips to be a better negotiator:-

·         Prepare and do your home work.  Setting Objectives and Preparation

·         Will the atmosphere be warm, cool, hostile or even playful? How will you adapt your negotiating style.

·         Are you dealing with the decision maker?

·         Are they relaxed or nervous?   Reading Body language

·         Are they trustworthy?      Selling ? Buying ? TRUST

·         Do you really know the strength of your position?

·         What is your  contingency plan  if the negotiations drag on or fail?


Think of the peel as your negotiating variables
 - little cost to you great value to them
  It’s not always about Price. You may want the orange –they may want the peel.  Peels could be flexibility on timing, level of guarantees etc

·         Don’t bluff or lie. In the long rung being deceptive usually back fires

·         Be the first to make an offer. If you go first get to set the agenda, tone and your stake in the ground.

·         Use more assertive words like “I want” or “I require” rather than “I prefer” but make your first offer reasonable.

There are a number of skills in Negotiation that Selling shares but they are not necessarily the same process.

Better negotiating skills means “your future is Orange” . ( Other mobile network providers are available ! J )

Related Links

Idea for post prompted by Richard Farleigh's column in City AM Monday 25th November

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