In this video the buyer and seller are negotiating over a restored antique sign.  Captured on TV, this example is your typical Hard Bargaining negotiation.  It’s a one off transaction that is all about price.  There is no trust or any need for trust.  This transaction has little bearing on future transactions.  I’ve heard the same exact verbal slips in countless professional situations ranging from purchasing an asset or buying a company to buying a car or haggling at the farmer’s market.  Full descriptions of the slips are listed below the video.

Full Analysis

0:36 – Manipulation – The seller rubs his chin at the precise moment he makes his first offer.  This manipulation indicates an elevated level of stress. Combined with:

0:36 Verbal Slip – Simultaneously with the manipulation, “My starting on this is gonna be…..$12.5”.  The words “my starting” indicate the seller has additional offers and expects to move his position.  After all, if it’s his “starting offer” it certainly isn’t his last offer.  As the buyer you are trying to achieve the lowest price and this is a clear indication that you can do better than $12.5K.

0:51 Verbal Slip – “I was thinking more like $6.5k”.  The words “I was thinking” indicate the buyer’s aspirations.  The proposal isn’t firm, further movement is possible.

0:59 Verbal Slip – “How about?”.  When Hard Bargaining over price, proposals stated as questions imply rejection.  In essence, you are expecting the other party to reject your proposal.

1:12 Example of a firm proposal – In contrast to the previous examples listen to the seller as he makes his final proposal, “Ok the absolute lowest I can go is gonna be $8.5k”.  Notice he doesn’t say “about”, or “hoping”, or “starting”, or “in the neighborhood”, or “I’d like” when stating his proposal.

You always want to listen for verbal slips and watch for manipulations when Hard Bargaining to identify flexible proposals.  Flexible proposals indicate movement is possible from the other party.  You simply have to provide them enough satisfaction to get them to move.