The Concession Mechanism
Hello Good Negotiators
Don't dust off your 'white flag'! This Concession Mechanism isn't the vehicle where we intend to give up or cave in. Too many of us get obsessed with winning,not giving an inch or fearing the shame of giving something away.
Did you know that giving a concession has four (4) purposes?
Knowing these will change your perspective on strategically granting a concession.
The Concession Mechanism
How many times have we experienced (or heard of) failed negotiations because neither party was willing to make the first move (concession)? Good negotiators know that granting a concession or suggesting a compromise serves four purposes.
1. Concessions, communicated properly, can uncover WHAT one's negotiating opponent really wants. Concessions loosen their tongue and somewhat soften their defenses. Best of all, their conversation typically centers on their core or key objectives....what they really value and want.
2. Concessions tend to bring out HOW MUCH our opponent is seeking.
Many times this is revealed with the 'what'(#1 above). If not, a concession can prompt others to quantify, with more specificity, their position in response to a follow up question. Such as "What would work for you?" or "How much are we talking about?"
3. Concessions help us to learn HOW BADLY our opponent wants something. Uncovering our opponent's motivations is always the good negotiator's edge. Again, asking questions might be necessary. "Why?" or "What's your thinking?" questions encourage people to share their motives. By gauging someone's motivations we can quickly determine if we have a chance to achieve that win-win result.
4. The last purpose of giving a concession is that we can better determine or estimate what our opponent is WILLING TO GIVE UP in order to achieve an agreement.
You have probably noticed that these four purposes of granting a concession are interrelated. But identifying them individually helps us strategize and identify targeted information we need to have.
"Priming the pump" might be the best way to think of The Concession Mechanism. Don't give away the store but posing that famous good negotiator question, "What would you think if I would ...give ______ to you? or ....do _____ for you?" Such questions greatly enhance our opportunity to achieve those four purposes simply by making a conditional commitment.
Think positive thoughts about The Concession Mechanism and focus on those four purposes as you KEEP Negotiating.
Negotiating Tip 114: Retreat Negotiations
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Negotiating Tip 113: Activating Our Opponent
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Negotiating Tip 112: Misconceptions
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