For the next installment in a Series of Persuasion Principles offered by the RENI, we examine the Contrast Persuasion Principle in this article. The principle of contrast shows that you can make what you want someone to do more attractive by comparing it to another choice that is less attractive. In practical application, the contrast principle can be used in virtually all negotiation situations.

For example, when it comes to your professional real estate fees, you might explain to your seller this scenario: “Being trained in professional negotiation techniques, here is a list of 180 things I will do for you [see Orlando Association of REALTORS summary]. I know you can get a lower fee elsewhere, but what have you really saved if you get a 1% lower fee and then a $20,000 lower price for your home because the other agent is not a trained negotiator?” As a skilled negotiator, the challenge is to make certain that your contrast is credible within the scope of the deal.

A non-real estate example: A teenager rings your doorbell and asks, “Would you like to buy a $100 raffle ticket to win a new car?” Most of us would say, “No, thank you.” Then the teenager asks, “Well then, would you like to buy five $1 candy bars to help raise money for my charity?” Studies show that you are more likely to agree to the $5 request after having declined the $100 request. Simple logic: the $5 request seems more reasonable than the initial $100 request.

Making use of the Contrast Persuasion Principle can help your clients keep realistic expectations about a real estate transaction, and can help keep a reasonable perspective about the dollars and cents of real estate sales.

Successful real estate negotiations will employ several negotiation techniques as you navigate buyers, sellers, other agents and lending institutions all within one sale. The next post in this series will be exploring the Exchange Persuasion Principle use for successful real estate negotiations.