Aim High

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Identification

This deal element is seen when we serve a big opening ask, most commonly when we ask for a high price if we are selling a good or service, or when we negotiate for a large salary or raise. You generally will not be able to get more than an opener. When using this tactic, the opener must be realistic. Your high mark should be one which is not outside the top of the market or industry standard, otherwise you undermine your credibility. If there is known pricing data, focus the conversation on value[ii]. If you don’t know the market and don't want to err on the side of a low opener, ask an open-ended question but always know your cost. You probably will never get more than your opening ask, so if you must make the first offer, make it one which is a best outcome for you.

Example

An example of the Aim High tactic could be someone who asks for a $75,000 salary although the standard range for the position is $55,000 – 65,000. This person would hope to negotiate to the higher end of the standard range and end at a $65,000 salary.

Solution

When encountering someone who has pitched a high opening ask, counter with a number on the lower end of market standard, and expect that you will settle somewhere between those two numbers. Consider an open-ended question such as, “What do you think it should be,” if you can’t figure out a number or don’t know the market.

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