Pass the Chips and Close the Deal

negotiating with foodIf you’re locked in a tough negotiation, consider spicing it up by bringing some chips and salsa to the table. That’s right, share some food. Stanford researchers found that this surprising tactic can help create a win-win during competitive negotiations or when things reach an impasse. Sharing food apparently inspires people to pay more attention to one another and look for ways to create value.

On the other hand, if you’re involved in a more cooperative negotiation with someone you know well, forego the food. Or have each person enjoy their own individual portion. Otherwise, by sharing food, you risk things becoming too relaxed and the focus shifts to maintaining a friendly relationship versus reaching the best deal possible.

These insights prove that when it comes to negotiating, sometimes it’s not best to let the chips fall where they may, but pick them up and nosh on a few. Everyone can come out a winner when you understand some negotiation nuances.


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. Oh nice! So motivational speakers can almost use this one. I would SO love to send some chips and salsa over to those potential clients as we have a phone conversation about the possibility of my speaking for their group and what the bottom line is! But make no mistake, for other up-close-and-personal negotiations, I'm bringing out the food! Thanks for the info!

  2. Love this post!  Anytime I can get ideas on negotiating, I'm happy.  Love the insight on this too about not using food if you already have a relationship.  Good stuff as usual Colette!

  3. VERY interesting! Never heard this before. Thanks for sharing. What if all our negotiations are over the phone? Should I talk about the food I'm eating?

  4. That's one of the reasons I love food!  It has a universally bonding effect.  Here's a quote I love on the subject: “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” ~ Luciano Pavarotti

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