Negotiating Tip 97: Concession Strategies

Written by John Hamilton Posted On Sunday, 27 November 2022 00:00

How you give can make a world of difference.

Anyone who thinks that they can negotiate successfully without giving something up or making a concession is either fooling themselves or negotiating with someone who is amazingly desperate.

Good negotiators have developed an inner sense that dictates their concession strategy, pattern and philosophy.   What's your concession strategy? 

You can measure your concession strategy against the list that follows.

  • Enter negotiations expecting to grant concessions but also with the expectations that you'll come out with a really good deal.  (One's aspirations greatly influence the bargaining and the results.)
  • Within reason, structure your opening position to be a bit aggressive.  (Obviously, minor concessions from that position will enable you to end up exactly where you had hoped to be.)
  • Good negotiators are able to make consistently smaller concessions than their opponents.  (This minor adjustment at each concession exchange has major cumulative effect in the long run.)
  • Think beyond the next anticipated concession.  Like a great chess player, think three or four moves ahead.  (Some can do that in their head.  Others  need to jot down a series of possible moves or concessions before the negotiation encounter.)
  • Consider being unpredictable.  This keeps one's opponent from anticipating where you'll go next. (Take back or reduce a previously made concession and grant one in another area that hasn't been previously discussed.  You can always return to that original concession, but now in a more powerful position.)
  • As negotiations progress, take more and more time in communicating each concession.  (The longer you take, the more likely your opponent will think your ability to grant future concessions is waning.)
  • Present a concession through a "Third Party Story".  Example, "A friend of mine from work was able to get ____ when he did ____.  I can't see why we can't structure something similar here."
  • Don't give a concession without getting a concession back from your opponent.  You may even want to suggest a concession you'd make IF (conditioned upon) a specific concession was given by your opponent.
  • Add some dramatic effect.  Act a bit pained when you share a concession you'd make.  Act sincerely appreciative of concessions granted by your opponent.  When your opponent thinks their concession is taken for granted or isn't taken seriously, future concessions won't likely be forthcoming.

Good negotiators have an ever evolving concession strategy. 

They practice and improve that strategy as they KEEP Negotiating.

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