Always make your first concession on a minor issue.

People who make the first concession on a major issue tend to do poorly. It was though they were on the defensive from the start.

When someone “cracks” on a major issue, it is difficult for that person to recover. The other party will make fewer and fewer concessions and they will be small ones.

Remember, giving in quickly on a major issue is likely to adjust expectations in the other party. They will continue to expect that you will concede on larger and larger issues.

My suggestion for business negotiation is to feel free (after holding off for awhile) to make your first concession on a minor point. Persuasion theory says this is a good way to reduce resistance barriers. However, when it comes to major issues, I think it’s best that you not give in first.

By making a major concession early, you send the message to the other party that they ought to raise their expectations. This can increase the likelihood of this negotiation ending in deadlock.

At the very least, hold back in order to find out just how strong their position really is.

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