# Negotiating Offers with Precise Numbers #careeradvice

The next time you negotiate your offer give a precise number like \$75,300, instead \$75,000.

Why?

According to a group of researchers from Columbia Business School, precise numbers lead the other party to believe you’ve done your homework to come up with those specific numbers.

Malia Mason, lead researcher, conducted three separate studies to determine the degree of change from the first offer that was anchored.

In one study participants negotiated with a shop keeper over jewelry. In a second study negotiations were with a restaurant owner, and in a third study negotiations were with a coffee vendor. In each study one group of participants were provided a round dollar number while another group of participants received a precise dollar number to use in their negotiations.

The results of each study ended up with participants who negotiated with the precise dollar number made the least amount of change to their original ‘anchored’ offer. The participants with the round dollar number make the biggest changes. It was determined that the participants who negotiated with the precise number retained the greatest value from their original offer.

Basically this is like asking how much longer when waiting to be seated at a restaurant and the employee says 18 minutes over 20 minutes. If you hear 18 it makes you think they’ve actually timed how long the wait is versus saying 20 which makes you think they’re just pulling a number out of the air and you really don’t know when you’re going to get seated.

So what does this have to do with your offer?

If you get in a situation where you haven’t done your research to know what your market value is but you have an idea, instead of saying \$100,000, ask for \$102,500. Studies show that with the preciseness of the first offer that you anchor, you have a better opportunity to receive the full amount or an amount close to it.

Keep in mind, the best way to negotiate your offer though is to do your homework and research what the market value really is for your skills.