Position Your Case to Influence Value in Negotiation

By Alex Moskov August 3, 2021 | 3 min read

RED BEAR’s 6 Principles of Negotiation are used by high performers to negotiate more profitable agreements. These guidelines provide the skills and behaviors used to manage tension, balancing self-interest and collaboration to find creative solutions to break deadlocks with value-for-value exchanges.

Let’s dive into RED BEAR’s 6 Principles beginning with Principle #1: Position Your Case Advantageously.

If I were to offer you a used truck with more than 250K miles, you might not be all that interested. However, if I were to offer you a rare classic Ford pick-up, there’s a good chance I grabbed your attention.

In order to clearly convey value, it’s imperative to describe your case in a succinct and compelling way that leaves little to no room for doubt.

Value can be very subjective, and the same solution can be perceived differently among various people. The only way to give your proposal or solution the best opportunity to be perceived at the height of its value is to effectively Position Your Case.

Effective positioning is brief, compelling, and repeatable.

What you say needs to easily register in the mind of the other party. Many average negotiators tend to fall into the trap of providing an excessive amount of information in hopes of supporting or bolstering their case, which leaves the other party with too much data to work with. This prevents the other party from registering the true value of your proposition.

Including too much data or too many arguments decreases the effectiveness of your positioning simply because it creates too much ground for the other party to have to travel in order to fully grasp what you are offering.

Most proposals and solutions can be complex. That’s why it’s important to communicate in a succinct manner and get straight to the point. You need to simply choose a few of your BEST data points to create your value proposition or “theme.”

Those who learn to redirect discussions toward their appealing, powerful theme statements are much more likely to gain acceptance and create winning agreements. Doing so also helps you to frame the discussion to the core benefits that would bring the other party closer to its goals.

For example, Jerry is a sales negotiator for a high-end computer graphics card manufacturer. Jerry positioned a powerful, but significantly more expensive item, to a customer as “the technology of the future,” instead of just “a product improvement” and noted that the chip was more reliable, efficient, required much less frequent replacements, and was supported by an industry-leading company known for its innovation.

Jerry’s “technology of the future” positioning theme allowed the customer to see a wider range of advantages and potential, rather than just a marginal improvement.  By increasing the perceived value of the product, Jerry was able to ask for and get more from the buyer, who was also able to fully comprehend what made Jerry’s chip a superior product.

Repeating your positioning theme helps to demonstrate your conviction about the value of your ideas or solutions. This is why it’s necessary to make sure your positioning theme has enough authority because a weak positioning theme will only lead to a weaker overall discussion.

Good positioning extends the range of reason and improves the chances of getting what you want and need out of the negotiation. Average negotiators often skip this Principle because they assume the other party already understands the value of their proposal or solution.

As we’ll cover in upcoming weeks, all of RED BEAR’s principles are based on the traits of high performing negotiators. These skills and behaviors have been used by more than 25% of Fortune 100 companies for over 3 decades to significantly improve business results. Download our Negotiating Profitable Agreements white paper to learn more about RED BEAR’s guiding principles. Or, if you are looking to transform your team into world class negotiators contact us today to get started.


The Principle of Conceding According to Plan is a critical tenet of masterful negotiation and is rooted in the psychology of reciprocity.
The Principle of Placing Needs Over Wants will help negotiators uncover and address the other party’s underlying concerns, issues, and motivations for wanting to do business with you. Doing so will...

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