Skilled negotiators understand that making concessions is part of reaching a successful deal. Contrary to popular belief, counteroffers and concessions are not a sign of weakness, but rather a useful tactic for achieving the desired outcome. Negotiation is a dynamic process, and skilled negotiators plan for counteroffers in advance. There will likely be trade-offs on both sides before reaching an agreement, and these counteroffers can lead to a better deal that is a win for everyone. Here are a few reasons why counteroffers make both parties more satisfied.
It Established Trust and Credibility
The secret to a successful negotiation is making the other party feel like you value their needs in addition to your own. The last thing someone wants is to feel like they are being strong armed by the other side. When both parties are willing to make concessions through counteroffers, it helps to establish a sense of trust and credibility with the other party. When you acknowledge a counteroffer you not only affect the other party’s perceptions of your goodwill, but it also triggers their desire to reciprocate. Therefore, these counteroffers lead to an increased level of trust between the parties.
It Demonstrates Flexibility
One hallmark of a good negotiation is establishing a relationship in which one party is not nickel and diming the other. Rather, each side listens to the concerns and values of the other party and makes an effort toward achieving a mutual gain. When counteroffers are made and accepted, it shows a willingness to be flexible and make concessions. This will sit well with the other party and encourage them to reciprocate until both parties achieve their desired outcome.
Both Parties Feel Like Winners
Successful negotiations do not have winners and losers. Rather, then end in a mutually beneficial agreement. Counteroffers are a great way for both parties to make concessions in order to reach a win-win solution. It goes without saying that both parties will be much happier when they both walk away feeling like winners.
No One is In Control
It is difficult for both parties to feel satisfied with an agreement if one party feels like they were controlled by the other. Counteroffers eliminate this control, by allowing each side to make concessions until they can reach an amicable agreement. When a concession is made, it is expected that the other party will reciprocate in return. This compromise creates the feeling that both parties have equal control of the outcome.
It Is Perceived as a Fair Deal
Even if one party comes out with the better end of the deal, both parties typically feel like the negotiation was fair if counteroffers were made. Even if only small concessions were made, it indicates flexibility and strengthens credibility. Counteroffers involve movement within the negotiation and when both parties are willing to move, they perceive the agreement as a fair deal.