We’ve talked before about how an anchor point can seriously change the course of any negotiation. This effect, where you plant a number in someone’s mind, works because people aren’t terribly rational. They’re unwittingly susceptible to all sorts of manipulation, most of which is completely unintentional and unrecognized.
Well, new research indicates that anchoring works even when the figures you throw out are absurd.
In a simulation conducted by Todd Thorsteinson out of the University of Idaho, candidates for a fake administrative assistant position who jokingly threw out absurdly high salary requests, think $100k for a $30k gig, on average received a 9% higher offer than those who didn’t.
Now, this is just a simulation where real money doesn’t have to change hands, but this is still a fascinating result.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And, even if you don’t get, you might get more. So ask. Even if the request is absurd.