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December 3, 2018

Negotiating Tip 42: Concede Slowly

What do quick concessions mean to you?

In virtually all negotiations both sides make concessions.  While we won't, in this discussion, concern ourselves with the amount of our concessions, we do need to talk about the speed of our concessions.

The speed strategy worthy of serious consideration (and adoption) is simply - concede slowly. 

The reasons for doing so are most compelling.
  • First, quick concessions send a message that there are many more coming.  There may be more, but tipping our hand to that possibility works against our best effort.  Slowing down hints of the opposite - that there might not be many or any concessions left.
  • Second, the more slowly one concedes the more value our opponent will likely attach to that concession.   The extra time in anticipation of a concession tends to force an opponent to over analyze the concession itself.  That slow pace can prompt an opponent to rethink their position too.
  • Third, slow concessions add another benefit, namely the "Power of Investment".  That power source stems from the fact that the more time we can force an opponent to invest in a negotiation, the more likely they will make a concession.   It is somewhat irrational, but it's true.

So the next time you're into bargaining, don't be too quick in offering a concession.  The winner of this battle is not the fastest, but the slowest.

So take your time as you KEEP Negotiating.

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