McBride for Business Blog

Free Stuff: A Tip for Getting More Out of Negotiation

April 6, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

We’ve talked extensively in our blog about making negotiations a win/win (…thing-5-key-tips/). It’s our philosophy that negotiations are a conversation where two people are working with each other to get to an outcome that benefits both. It’s about economic specialization and trade. In a negotiation done right, each person will give the other something of benefit, and both persons will feel like they got something more than what they gave up.

How can you get something for nothing in a negotiation? How can you get more?

I’m going to give you a little trick that’s not used enough in the negotiation process. You can get some free stuff. In every negotiation, each party has things that they’re looking for. We’ve talked about having deal breakers, and knowing what your walkaways are, and what you’re looking for in a negotiation Every time we go into a negotiation each party should know what they’re looking for, what they need, and how the negotiation’s going to work.

There’s a point where the deal makes sense and where it doesn’t make sense. When we get close to a deal that makes sense most people often end the negotiations and say, “We got a benefit. We win, and the other side wins,” and everybody walks away happy.

What if you could get a little more, something for nothing without harming your deal? How can that be possible?

In almost every negotiation people have things that are little or no cost to them that are of high benefit to the other party. When we’re negotiating against somebody else, they may have something that they don’t really need or value, or have in great abundance that you would value and would be of benefit to you. I want you to think about this when you’re negotiating. You’re always looking at the other party, what they have available and how it could benefit you. Of course, you’re trying to provide a benefit to them or they won’t do a deal with you.

As you’re finishing out the negotiations and getting close to signing on the dotted line, is there something that the other party has that they have a lot of, or they don’t value highly, that would be of benefit for you? For instance, if you’re negotiating for a service maybe they can provide you access to old articles or materials that they developed in the past for other reasons. This would cost the other party nothing but might be of benefit to you. Maybe they can give you a free add-on plugin to a piece of software, or provide an additional benefit to your new telephone contract that doesn’t cost them anything but would help you with your business.

These are the types of things you want to look for at the end of a negotiation. What can the other party give me that I would appreciate that won’t really cost them any time or energy? In almost every negotiation there’s a handful of these things sitting around, and you can take them basically for free by asking the other party for them. It’s just a little more benefit for you.

Think about this strategy next time you’re in negotiation. I guarantee you if you try this over the course of a couple of months you’ll get some free stuff. Let us know how you do with the strategy and what you gain.

What’s been your experience with negotiation? Have you gotten little benefits thrown in for yourself amid a negotiation? How did the process work for you? Join us in the comments below and let us know about your experiences.

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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Ivan Prole.


About the Author

R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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Posted In: Business, Negotiations, Strategy

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