Notes on Negotiations: Five Offer-Concession Strategy Tips

With the ongoing debt-deal negotiation between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner providing us with an elucidating example of the offer-concession process (check out this handy chart quantifying both sides’ moves via the Washington Post), here are five tips to consider when planning your offer-concession strategy for a negotiation:

1. Expect, plan and insist on reciprocity of movement.

2. Start with the most critical issues on which both sides will likely agree.

3. Consider the value of momentum – the longer the negotiation lasts, the more committed both sides will usually feel.

4. The earlier and more often you raise an issue; the more important it will be perceived.

5. Remain flexible so you can take advantage of new strategically important information and unanticipated opportunities.

Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis

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