Never Negotiate Around A Single Concession

by Johnny Bravo · 6 comments

Never Negotiate Around A Single ConcessionThis is a follow up to a previous post Three Ways To Make Contract Negotiations Easier where I explained how important it is to know your contract when involved in negotiations.

In the post I discuss three key areas to be successful in negotiating on your agreement: (1) Know common redlined items, (2) what you can’t negotiate on, and (3) what you can.

Today I’d like to talk about a fourth key area that applies to contracts and any negotiations anywhere, anytime.

The idea is simple but for some reason I don’t see it utilized as often as it should be which is in every single negotiation every single day.

The concept: never, ever negotiate on a single concession. ~Tweet this!

Depending on your product or service there are usually a few areas that will come up in negotiations. Joel Peterson, Linkedin influencer and Chairman of JetBlue Airways, recently wrote a great piece Negotiate Great Deals, Without A Fight  where he defined those areas as price, terms, time frames, representations and warranties, and remedies. 

You may have more, you may have less. The point I want you to understand is that there will always be more than one area to negotiate on. Because of this you should never allow negotiations to be centered on only one area.

No person or business makes a buying decision based on a single aspect so then why would you allow negotiations on only one?

Price is the most common example. If you are negotiating on only price then there are two directions it can go. Up if you are in control or down if the client is in control. This is not a good place to be because you have no place to go but down in most cases.

The way to avoid this is by bringing another concession into the mix. For example, when selling real estate software, time frame is a common addition to the conversation when price comes up. The longer the term, the lower the price. A win win for both parties because they get the software they want at the price point they want while we get a happy customer for a predictable amount of time. This not only means revenue, it means revenue we can expect and budget with.

By controlling the conversation and not allowing only one concession to be discussed you spread out your risk of a bad deal happening.

~ Johnny Bravo

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Cooper August 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

It is true that you need to focus on value when discussing contracts. Negotiations can be derailed when either party focuses on the wrong thing. 🙂


Johnny Bravo August 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

So true Susan. The goal is for both parties to benefit in the right way.


Arleen August 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I have learned over the years when you are negotiating think of the song that Kenny Rogers sang, the Gambler. You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

If you negoiate properly you can make it look like a win win situation for both.


Johnny Bravo August 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm

That is a great song Arleen. Perfect for this conversation. Thanks for sharing. And so true, good negotiations make everyone happy.


Patricia Weber August 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

My thinking is it’s always the win-win outcome that makes for the best negotiations. If either party walks away feeling, well, taken then the negotiation could fail. Meaning the party feeling like they left something on the table could stall things from moving forward or just not move forward period. Thanks for the valuable content.

Patricia Weber, LinkedIn Group BHB


Johnny Bravo August 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm

You’re right Patricia. I’ve definitely had negotiations go south because they would they could (or should) get more out of the deal. Communication is key in deals like that. When there is a clear understanding of what both parties are looking to get out of the deal, that win-win is much closer to hand.


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