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How a hostage negotiator buys a car

Posted Jan 5th 2013 11:57AM

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Planet Money on National Public Radio takes an aerial view of the American government's "fiscal cliff" brouhaha via three different negotiating techniques – the issue isn't what each side is trying to get, but how each side might try to get it. The two hosts outline three different ways to persuade, and then use ordinary examples to demonstrate how we use the same techniques for quotidian affairs that US Congress will use to decide the next phase of the nation's financial future.

There's "The Nibble," "Expanding the Pie" and "Disarming Empathy." The everyday example for the last is a former FBI hostage negotiator buying a new SUV, his explanation being "Get the other side to bargain against themselves... but you have to be nice about it." It's not for everyone, though – he called it "Master's level kidnap bargaining."

Have a listen to the show below to polish your persuasive technique, Mr. FBI begins at 8:25.



How to Outsmart Car Dealers When Buying a Car

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