Very quickly, how do you respond to an anchor?
Easy answer – ignore it. I know it sounds like a cop out answer, but honestly, it’s the only way to ensure you don’t play that game.
As a quick refresher, anchoring someone is to cause a cognitive bias in someone’s mind to rely heavily on an initial offer (to ‘anchor’ someone to your offer so you’re more likely to close closer to your offer).
Yes, this is real. The initial price offered for an object at the start of a negotiation sets a focal point for all following discussions. Then, because the human mind is a bit wacky, the prices discussed in the negotiation after this initial offer are statistically more likely to be closer to the anchor than if there had not been an anchor.
Studies have shown that anchoring is very difficult to avoid.
I’ve found the easiest way to avoid being anchored is to ignore the anchor and return with a counter that is based on your research, and not necessarily on the anchor proposed. If you respond with the anchor in mind, it’s too late, you’re stuck now.
Naturally you’re now thinking, “So should I be making the first offer?”
And the answer is, “It depends”.
More to come on this next week.