Gently push back, at least for one round. Especially if you’re a less-aggressive personality type and are programmed to answer ‘yes’ to the first reasonable offer someone makes.
People seldom offer the best they can offer right away because the first offer “anchors” the negotiation. They risk “showing their cards” and divulging some bargaining zones.
If you don’t push back even once, you’ll wind up with a less-than-optimal deal. A straightforward question such as “Can you do better than that?” will help you fend off the first offer politely without being a pushover.
If the counterparty says ‘no’ and you feel you can sustain the process for another round, inquire, “I’d like your help to learn why the first offer is the best you can do.” The key to being a better negotiator isn’t simply presenting your demands but asking detailed questions designed to better understand the other side’s interests.
If their answers make no sense, share your confusion. Offer a strong counteroffer based on your ideal intended outcome and your appraisal of the counterparty’s options and their “reserve price.”
Idea for Impact: Beware of the trap of saying ‘yes’ too quickly. You’ll get farther with a bit of polite persistence than quick surrender.
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