On my voyage across the world wide web today, I came across this article. You don’t really need to click on it, as I’m going to explain it. Basically it says that their research shows that more people will say yes to something if you first ask them something ridiculous and they said no. Like “will you help me move some boxes for my move?” will probably get almost no volunteers. But if you first ask them “will you help me pack all the stuff in my house, and then help me move and unpack at the new place?” and they say no, then follow it up with “will you at least help me move some boxes for my move?”, they will more likely say yes. Asking for the moon first, getting rejected, then asking what you really want seems to be a viable strategy, which isn’t as duh as you think to most people. We never ask for the moon. We always try to ask for something somewhat reasonable. Like on Pawn Stars, no one ever asks for something absolutely ridiculous. It always $700, then $300, then $600, then $350, then $400. This study suggests that the customer should maybe have asked for something truly exorbitant, like maybe $1500.
At my job at Tuttle-Click Mazda (we’re awesome and you should go buy a Mazda from Carl in Irvine, CA right now), when a person asks for a discount, they almost always ask for something more than what that are willing to take first. That’s also pretty much the foundation for negotiating: ask for more than you want, and offer lower than what you will give. But in car sales, and most of negotiations, nobody has ever asked for something completely unreasonable. However, this study seems as though asking for the insanely outrageous and almost certainly guaranteeing a rejection first might be better. So in a car deal, the customer might ask for $1500 off, which is a lot, when they really want $1000 off, which is still a lot. This study suggests that I would be more willing to accept the $1000 off if instead of just $1500, they asked for something like $2500 off and free maintenance for 3 years and free Sirius radio and a license plate cover, etc. Which is probably true, but most of us don’t do it.
Maybe its because we are afraid of rejection. Asking for something crazy might make us worried that we might be thought of as crazy, or stupid, or ignorant, or unreasonable. Well apparently the advise I have to give you would be to get over this fear of what others might think of you. Ask for the moon. You will probably be rejected, but get over it, and then you can ask for what you really want with a much better chance of getting it. In fact, my real advice then would be to ALWAYS ask for the moon. If you want to be mayor, try to become president. You want to become a manager, try to become the CEO. You want $100? try to make $1000000. Whatever you want, ask for and do the work for something much greater. Will you achieve it? Again, probably not, but don’t be afraid of that! Don’t! Go for it! And worst case scenario is you will probably get what you wanted in the first place, or more likely, more.