Negotiation Tip of the Week
“He who concedes too quickly is prone to give up too much.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“How to Concede To Get The Greatest Negotiation Impact”
How do you concede to get the greatest impact when negotiating? Do you concede quickly, or do you concede based on the flow of the negotiation? The latter should be the answer, and you should never concede without giving thought to where such action will lead.
The following are thoughts to consider before conceding in a negotiation.
Should you get something when conceding?
Some negotiators believe you should receive something for every concession you make. It sends a message to the other negotiator that he’ll have to give something to get something. If you subscribe to that theory, the question becomes, at what point do you ‘get something’? Should you do so at the time of the concession, or let your concessions accumulate, before cashing in your chits? The timing of your actions should be based on the flow of the negotiation and the style of the negotiator you’re negotiating with. That’s to say, if you’re negotiating with a negotiator that has a hard style of negotiating (i.e. I win, you lose), extract a toll for every concession you make. You’ll signal that you’re not a pushover, while indicating that he’ll have to earn what you give him. If you’re negotiating with a negotiator that has an easy style of negotiating (i.e. go along to get along), you can let your concessions accumulate. You’ll build trust with this type of negotiator. Just make sure that he reciprocates appropriately when you seek a concession. If he doesn’t, revert to a one-for-one ratio (i.e. get every time you give).
How to use numbers to influence concessions.
Quick, in three seconds, what’s the dollar difference between $2,100 and $1,990. At first glance, did it seem larger than $110? Therein lies the impact that non-round numbers can have on the perception of value. When negotiating, odd numbers, such as $1,990 versus $2,000, can have a profound effect on the mind of the person viewing the offer. The former sends the subliminal message that there may not be a lot of room to move past that offer. When making concessions, consider how you can influence the perception of your offers and counteroffers based on the numbers you use.
Think about how your concession will be perceived.
Understand how your concessions might be perceived before issuing them. Depending on the style of a negotiator (i.e. hard, easy, closed, open), what the easy/open negotiator might perceive as an attempt to further the negotiation, the hard/closed negotiator might perceive as an opportunity to take advantage of you.
How to use Red Herrings when conceding.
Red herrings can be irrelevant or relevant information. They can be used to divert attention from something you don’t wish to discuss, and they can also be used to project perceived value. In the latter case, use red herrings in the form of something that appears to have value to you that the opposing negotiator views as having real value to him; the stronger his perception of real value, the greater the value the red herring will be for him. At a point when you’ve been requested to make a concession, after great consternation, you can reluctantly give him the red herring. You will have lost nothing of real value, but you will have gained another chit that you can use later.
As you can see, there’s a lot of gamesmanship that occurs in a negotiation. You can enhance the probability of winning the game by utilizing the insights above … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your thoughts? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating.