So how hard should you negotiate for something? When you go in for that job interview how much hardball should you play over your salary? When you're negotiating for a supply contract for your company how much should you be willing to give? Well there's a recent study out looking at this exact issue and I'd like to thank Rob at Business Pundit
for pointing it out.
In their study, 134 participants were paired as buyers and sellers in a price negotiation. Sellers paired with more-deal-hungry buyers were left with a bad taste: They were less satisfied with the negotiation outcome, found their buyers to be less likeable, expressed less willingness to work with those buyers in the future, and were less generous with the buyers in allocating money in a follow-up exercise to the negotiation experiment. The buyer may have gotten a good deal in that one negotiation, but if he or she hopes to build a relationship with the seller, that short-term result may not be very helpful to long-term interactions.
According to the authors, we tend to think of negotiation in terms of isolated situations, but "the social outcomes of negotiations may have more far-reaching implications than one's individual payoff from a single negotiation."
So sometimes you have to give to get. However that means you can still be a total asshole when you're buying a new car, after all who would want to have a future relationship with a car dealer? Do I really care if a seller has a bad taste in his mouth on a one shot negotiation? Not really. If you're buying that house or high priced car you need to negotiate as if your life depends on it because the seller isn't going to give a crap if you can't afford the payments 3 years down the road. They're in a one shot negotiation with you themselves (for most of them).
Now that I've left a bad taste in the mouths of all you car dealers out there reading this, I take my leave.