Asking for a higher salary or haggling for an ukay-ukay item? Remember to give amounts in exact figures. According to a study featured on, this may give you the upper hand on the negotiating table

Researchers Malia Mason and Daniel Ames, together with doctoral students Alice Lee and Elizabeth Wiley of the Columbia Business School, asked 1,254 fictitious negotiators to try and close common deals such as buying jewelry or selling a car. Some of the volunteers were instructed to give estimations rounded off to the nearest zero, while others were tasked to give amounts in exact figures.

The results revealed that those who gave precise numbers were thought to be more informed about true market rates than those who gave rounded-off numbers. For instance, negotiating for P5,015 may make the person you’re talking to more likely to accept your proposal than negotiating for P5,000.

So if you want to make it look like you’ve done your homework, researchers suggest citing exact figures.
“Negotiators should remember that in this case, zeros really do add nothing to the bargaining table,” says Mason.

(Screencap of Suits courtesy of USA Network)

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