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Nibbling

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Nibbling

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Ask for small things, one at a time. Get agreement on each.

Frame the request as being very easy for the other person to give. Be appreciative when they give. Reward them with kind words and thanks.

You can leave a delay between each one. You can also ask a short sequence of nibbles and then give it a rest before asking for more.

This can be particularly effective near the end of the negotiation, when the other person is seeking to reach a final agreement. It can also work near the beginning, to get the ball rolling.

Example

Oh, just one more thing -- it's not much really -- could I have one more seat?

Can I have that table there? And please send the waiter over immediately. I also want water for everyone, now.

This window system is just what I want. The stained glass is included, of course?...The hardwood surrounds as well, I know?

Discussion

In the way that a rabbit nibble at a lettuce leaf with small bites, so also is 'nibbling' a way of getting a lot.

Asking for a small thing makes it seem mean for the other person to refuse. It can also make them feel good by giving you something that seems small to them and makes you so happy.

At the start of the negotiation, getting a small concession sets the tone of the negotiation (that you get something for nothing).

When the other person believes the deal has been agreed (or nearly agreed), then they will give in on a small detail very easily.

See also

The personal-closure trap, Escalating demand, Foot In The Door (FITD), Incremental Persuasion

 

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