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December 11, 2018

Negotiating Tip 50: Acceptance Time

If they need time to agree, give it to them.

Patience Makes Perfect

A common mistake made in negotiations is that of impatience.  We all seem to want everything quickly.  Patience is becoming a lost virtue and especially a missing skill in most negotiations.  

As you proceed into the bargaining phase of a negotiation are you including that all-important acceptance time?  It's a well-known fact that people need time to adjust their thinking to anything new or different.  We certainly need time to accept disappointment at not getting exactly what we wanted. Our negotiating opponent is no exception.

We shouldn't be impatient when we ask our negotiating opponent to make a significant concession.  For a seller to accept a much lower figure or a buyer to significantly increase their price does and should take time.  Give them that time!  Good negotiators are sensitive to this process. 

Great negotiators even intentionally inject a time gap or pause to allow for that adjustment (acceptance) to sink in.

Parties always seem to go into a negotiation hoping to get what they want quickly and easily. That is rarely possible.  We can anticipate that they may be influenced by unrealistic expectations or significant misconceptions. 

Why would we think that moving from those kind of positions could be accomplished in a heartbeat?  Adding 'acceptance time' to your negotiating strategy just makes good sense. 

Be creative when providing acceptance time.  Good negotiators take a negotiation pause by saying that they need to check something out, make a call or crunch a few numbers.  While we're attending to that task, we can be assured that our opponent will be re-evaluating their position and even adjusting their expectations.   They'll use that time to consider acceptance. 

Good negotiators know that some of the most effective negotiating takes place when there is a pause or break in the hard bargaining.  That break provides for that all-important acceptance time.

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