Westerners and Their Negotiation Capabilities

Kumar Thangudu

July 02, 2016

Westerners on the whole are pretty lousy negotiators, not because they’re incapable of being good negotiators, but because the vast majority of them have never truly negotiated a multitude or variety of things outside of a car, house, or salary.

In America, consumers go to the grocery store and prices are static/set/non-negotiable. The negotiation muscle isn’t being worked.

Most of the American books I’ve read on negotiation are a disservice to anyone trying to negotiate prices and consist of pretty hit or miss tactics like quoting an extra high price or never saying a number.

I *think* great negotiation is based on the fear of missing out, urgency, data arbitrage, experience fragmentation, perceived value, perceived notion of competition, a desire to be draconian, existential pain, grit, stoic capability, ROI leverage, acquired philosophical alignment, and non-existential-threatening deception.

The best negotiators I’ve met in the USA have distinctively been 2nd generation Americans/Immigrants and people who sell art/music, but they also workout their negotiation muscles weekly on increasingly larger ticket items.

For low-life-time value deals and low alignment, I know I’ve failed if they’re still smiling at the end.

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