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CPR Level Up series: Door in the Face Technique

CPR continues to explore the skill of networking. In yesterday's post, we explored reciprocity. Today, let's consider one reciprocity technique called a door-in-the-face technique. A more familiar term is the rejection-then-retreat technique. This technique involves making an outrageous request that someone will almost certainly turn down and then making a minor request that is in favor of interest. The second request is considered a concession if done skillfully, so compliance with the second request is obtained. However, one must proceed with caution when using this technique. If the first request is so big that it is considered unreasonable, the door-in-the-face technique proves useless as the concession made after is not perceived as genuine. In business, this technique is most visible during team management meetings and deadlines, market research, diplomacy, public relations, price negotiations, and fundraising. To some, this technique is likened to the good old bait-and-switch method. However, bait and switch is a morally suspect sales tactic that is frowned upon, but it is still done. This method lures customers with specific claims about the quality or low prices on unavailable items, then later upsells the victim on a similar, pricier item. It is considered a form of retail sales fraud, though it takes place in other contexts. If you were to take a sniff test challenge on either method, would the door-in-the-face technique hold a Moral high ground?

The other side of reciprocity is the foot-in-the-door technique based on submitting the moderate request first; once the person has the ear of their target personnel, the person presents a valid request more significant than the initial request. Some everyday modern business examples of foot-in-the-door technique include:

  • "May I turn in the paper a few hours late?" followed by "May I turn it in next week?"

  • "First six months interest-free,"

  • "No interest for two years."

As a Moral Leader, should either of the techniques mentioned above be considered if we adhere to truth and honesty without a hidden agenda? I gather this is based on perspective. CPR advocates for presenting your goal foremost; if your goals change, then adjustments can be made. Business leaders should understand that business is business; however, concealing information never provides accurate data for decision-making. Failing to disclose information sets the leader and those involved to falter or, in the worst-case scenario, fail. Omitting data is misleading. Sound decisions are grounded in truth, whereby all information is compiled. Electing to withhold information, even temporarily for profit, might be approved by most of the business world, but should you execute accordingly to improve your chances of securing a contract, raise as much money as possible, or improve sales?

As we close out Networking as a critical ingredient to leveling up in 2024, note that all CPR's tips are grounded in being the most effective leader while making sound, ethical decisions. What are your thoughts? Please be sure to share and like this article. That's another way iron sharpens iron.

Warm Regards


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