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Part: V Capturing and Keeping the Job > Knowing When to Back Off: Don't Push a ...

Chapter 28. Knowing When to Back Off: Don't Push a Negotiation Too Far

Sometimes it's better to back away and take what you have, rather than trying to ask for more. Even if you aren't sure you have made the best possible deal, a deal may be better than no deal. Pushing your luck can push a good deal right off the table. That's particularly so when you make a deal after extended negotiations and later remember what you forgot to ask for or face an unexpected contingency. It may be better simply to back off, though you think your request for more is only fair. But the other party may suddenly see you as a difficult person to deal with since you are making still another request; hence the end of the deal.

You might compare this situation to the "nibble" in a real estate or other sales negotiations. You think you have reached an agreement, when the other party comes back with an "Oh, by the way," then asks for a little bit more. You may feel angry and want to walk off, and sometimes people do, while others may reluctantly give in, willing to make one last concession, yet angry all the same. Unfortunately, that's what someone else may feel when you ask for that little bit more in that you think you deserve it. But the other party may consider your request a deal killer and walk away. Even if you are asking for a small additional amount, your after the agreement request can cause problems, because once you make a deal, the other party may be thinking: "This is done. I can move onto the next thing." But then you come back asking for changes, and the other person can suddenly think you might be a difficult person to work with and they just don't want the hassle. So while they might have agreed to the additional amount at an earlier point in the negotiations, now is not the time to ask for more. The request backfires and blows the deal. And you get zero, instead of more. This kind of dynamic works in sales agreements—and when you're trying to get a job or negotiate with a business client.


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