How companies persuade you – Noah’s negotiating handbook pt.3

Shirt, Pink, Sweet, Cute, Mockup, White, Sign, Business

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The written authority

Have you ever challenged a written statement? Entities like stores and companies always cite written statements to validate their points. There is a reason as to why this is done. Written statements generally carry more legitimacy than verbal statements. 

Noah learned the strategy from his friend. Jake (Noah’s friend) owned a shopping mall located close to another shopping mall. Due to the fierce competition between the malls, there were times where Jake lost vendors and customers

Eventually, Jake decided to pull a trick that would essentially destroy the other mall. The other mall was located at a strategic point for Jake, it was located at the end of the street. Which meant Jake could put up a sign saying the mall was closed before the customers could arrive at the mall. Thus, making the mall lose customers and eventually vendors. 

Additionally, he announced the mall was closing online through fake accounts. Soon, he was able to steal the customers and vendors of the other side. When the other mall realized what had happened to them, it was pretty late. They were forced to pay millions of dollars to recover from the damage done. However, Jake wasn’t done 

A policy was made by Jake to prevent vendors from withdrawing from the deal or working with his competitor. The policy stated any attempt to withdraw or  work with the other mall would result in legal charges and extra fees. Whenever the vendors opposed the policy, Jake cited the written policy. 

Fortunately, the vendors did not attempt to challenge the written policy. If the same thing was stated verbally. They would challenge it. However, the written form somehow validated it and made it unchallengeable. 

The expense and consequences of working with the other mall simply exceeded the benefits. With the vendors stuck with Jake’s mall, customers preferred going to Jake’s mall. Keep in mind, these vendors sold the most popular goods in the area. Therefore, Jake’s mall was the popular one. 

The other mall soon went bankrupt, making Jake the winner. This goes on to show how written statements triumph verbal ones. If leveraged the right way, you could get your way with lots of things. 

Authors Note

We wish our readers don’t just simply read this story but also reflect on the lessons mentioned. See if you implement the lessons into your life. We hope this story does more than just entertain you.

Book: You can negotiate anything by Herb Cohen (Purchase on Amazon)


  • Written statements triumph verbal ones. 

People tend to not try to question or negotiate with written text. Therefore using written statements is a highly effective way of getting what you want. 

This can be proven by the story of a man who once closed the city of Delaware. He placed a sign on the highway saying Delaware closed today. This was only a sign placed by a regular man. But the text actually stopped people and got them to ask when the city would re open. 

This just goes on to prove the legitimacy of written statements, documents and signs carry a lot of legitimacy in life.

Notice: All of the entities and locations mentioned in this entry are fictional.

Reflection Form

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