The importance of being the first to offer when resolving disputes
Do you get disappointed when you’re trying to resolve a dispute?
So many people hope that the other side will make a suggestion. And they hope that this suggestion will cost them far less than if they had made an offer in the first place.
The trouble is that this strategy never works. The offer that the other side makes is always far more than you would have ever suggested. You are left wondering how to respond to their approach.
Here’s an alternative strategy.
You always gain more if you make the first offer
People who make a first offer when negotiating have a much better chance of controlling the situation. The other party will be forced to respond to the initial offer. You have a far better chance of achieving your negotiation goals.
People who wait for the other side to make an offer may struggle to achieve what they need. They will have lost control of the situation. They will find themselves wondering how to deal with what the other party has put on the table
— Matthew Parker (@PrintChampion) February 19, 2016
Let’s look at how this works
When I run my negotiation masterclasses we have a negotiation scenario at the beginning of the day. Both sides are given very different goals. Whoever makes the first proposal is always in a better situation. Nearly every time this scenario is run, the side receives the first proposal adjusts their negotiating position. They always ask for less than they had planned.
It’s the same in real life
I used to see production staff seeking compensation from printing companies for an error. They would always reduce their expectations if the printer made the first offer. On the other hand, if the printer asked “How much?” they found themselves in a very powerful negotiating position Naturally, many people worry about one possible response from the other side.
What happens if the other side bites your hand off?
You’ve almost certainly been in this situation before. You make what you consider to be a fair offer. And the other party accepts instantly and happily. You’re left with the feeling that you should have asked for more. Remember that you got what you asked for. You should be happy! But if you have a list of extra wants, these can often be added at this stage.
Here are three action points if you want to resolve disputes more easily
- Make sure you set out clear goals of how you think a situation should be resolved. Know you what you are prepared to offer or accept.
- Remember that the other side will almost certainly be a good negotiator. Make the first offer before them.
- Learn more negotiation and goal-setting strategies – purchase The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook
Follow these actions and you are far less likely to be disappointed when you try and resolve a dispute. ================================================================== PS Are you looking for other simple but effective strategies to to engage with prospects and customers? Download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.