Thursday 5 September 2013

Think you are Bluffing the Buyer? - The Myth of the Poker Face....

For those of us that think the role of KAM has become a game, with many of the attributes of poker, then latest research on the value of a poker face may save some disappointment in your next negotiation session…

A maxim of poker is to play your opponent, not the cards you’re dealt. A good player scruitinises opponents for clues: A slight wince may reveal that an opponent did not get a hoped-for card. Sitting up straighter could hint that he or she intends to make a big move. At the same time, a good player wears a poker face that reveals no hint of his or her true emotions.

But is it a myth? Can a social animal like a human really perform the sophisticated double task of keeping their face a mask while reading their opponents?

Holding a poker face is possible, but attempts to control the internal experience of an emotion “either fail to decrease or paradoxically increase emotion experience.” So trying to restrain your own nervousness while bluffing can only increase it, making it even more difficult not to reveal.

The research concludes that when it comes to identifying slight signs of emotion - the hints revealed by a careful player - someone trying to hold a poker face is more likely to miss them.

In other words, when next sat in front of the buyer and you are attempting to make a ‘take it or leave it’ offer, forget about trying to read the buyer’s reaction.

Instead focus on maintaining a poker-face regardless, hopefully causing the buyer to miss the subtle signs of your inner turmoil and anxiety at this ‘factory closure’ moment… 

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