Negotiation Skills Training - Expanding the Pie


“Expanding the pie” is a very common phrase used in the world of negotiation.  But many people don’t know what it means.

It means identifying additional value to add to the deal – above and beyond the initial target or desire.  If you are negotiating a purchase, it could mean adding additional products or services to sweeten the deal, that may not have been on the table before.  It could also mean changing contract terms to further benefit you.  Every negotiation is different but there is almost always hidden opportunities to uncover.  It doesn’t matter which business industry you are in or what type of negotiation you are working with… Expanding the pie should be part of the negotiation strategy.

Here is a great example:  Lets say you want to buy a house.  Often times people focus primarily on negotiating the price.  But there are many other opportunities that can be brought to the table in the negotiation to sweeten that deal – and sometimes can even make a deal possible when it otherwise wouldn’t have worked out.  For example, new carpet and paint.  Those are expensive upgrades and can affect the overall cost you would have to invest.  Furniture… If you like something of theirs why not ask for it to be included?  Appliances, drapes, outdoor play structures, tiling, cabinet replacement, etc.  The possibilities are endless and most people do not think to fully explore every possibility.  Even realtor fees can be negotiated when you are close to coming to a deal.  Everything is on the table so it’s really a matter of how you divide it.  This is called expanding the pie.

Expanding the pie may sound really simple, but it is actually quite difficult.  Each deal, even if with the same vendor, is unique and has it’s own unique opportunities to be explored.

Expanding the pie is a skill that requires a lot of experience and training, in order to be done successfully.  You have to be able to really dive deep and explore all potential options and opportunities that are not immediately apparent.  You also need to have the skills to influence the other party and show a benefit for THEM to include those extra goodies in your deal.