What can DJs Teach Architects About Negotiation Strategy?
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What can DJs Teach Architects About Negotiation Strategy?

Is the negotiation process getting to stressful? Today I want to show you a very simple negotiation strategy that will help you induce a sense of calm into all your negotiations.

Let’s start with the basics – how can DJs help you with your design fee negotiations? 

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To answer that question I would like to introduce the following statistics, originally published by Albert Mehrabian, in his 1967 paper “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications”:

According to the paper, approximately 55% of human communication is conveyed by our body language, 38% by our voice (use of tones, and inflections) and 7% by the words we choose to use.

Body Language

Although the exact interpretation of these statistics has long been the subject of much debate, I think it’s safe to say that, when discussing fees for design services, what you say, is just as important, as how you say it!

(Note: To help you with all your fee negotiation situations we’ve created a starter kit packed full of free resources):

Fee Proposal Starter Kit

Communication as a negotiation strategy:

The tone, tempo, and volume of your voice has a tremendous impact on how your negotiation partner feels, and therefore how they respond, during a negotiation.

Negotiation strategy expert:

According to the former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, and author of the bestselling negotiation book ‘Never Split the Difference’, there are three voice types that one can adopt during a negotiation:

Three Voice Types:

  • the positive playful voice,
  • the direct and assertive voice, and
  • the late-night DJ voice.

Which Voice should Architects & Interior Designers Adopt during Negotiations?

When approaching a stressful negotiation situation, to help keep your negotiation partner calm, you should try adopting the ‘late-night DJ voice’ – slow the conversation down, adopt a deep, soft, and reassuring tone, and use downward inflections at the end of a sentence to induce a relaxed response.

Remember good negotiators are good listeners. Don’t go to the negotiation looking to justify your position. Instead adopt the late-night DJ voice, ask the right questions and turn a potentially stressful situation into a more relaxed and enjoyable discussion.

Let us know what you think:

Have you tried the late-night DJ voice negotiation strategy? Let us know in the comments section below by saying “Yes, I’ve tried it” or “No, I’m still practicing”.

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Want to improve your Negotiation skills?

The following resources are available right now to help you master your negotiation strategy and improve your career prospects:

• How to Respond When Asked to Lower Your Design Fee (Blog):

• The Design Professional’s Guide to Negotiating Fees + Contracts (eGuide):

• The Ultimate Fee Proposal Workshop (CE Points available): https://blueturtlemc.com/feeproposalworkshop/