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  • Jharna Jagtiani

Making Concessions In Negotiations: A Strategic Approach

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Mastering concessions in negotiations: strategic insights and real-life case study. Balance is key!

Negotiations often require striking a balance between achieving your goals and making concessions to reach a favorable agreement. Deciding when to make concessions can significantly impact the outcome of a negotiation. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when determining the appropriateness of concessions, backed by a real-life case study featuring Indian names.

1. Understanding Your Priorities: Before entering a negotiation, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your priorities and objectives. Identify the non-negotiables and the areas where you have flexibility. Knowing your bottom line and the points where you are willing to compromise will help you make informed decisions during the negotiation process.

2. Assessing the Other Party's Needs: To determine when to make a concession, assess the needs and interests of the other party. Understanding their motivations and goals will enable you to identify potential areas for trade-offs. By accommodating their requirements in certain areas, you may gain leverage in securing concessions in areas critical to your own objectives.

3. Analyzing the Value of Concessions: Evaluate the value of the concessions you are willing to make. Consider the impact of each concession on your overall goals and the potential benefits you may gain in return. Weigh the long-term advantages against short-term sacrifices to ensure the concessions are worthwhile.

4. Assessing the Bargaining Power: Analyze the balance of bargaining power in the negotiation. If you have a stronger position, you may strategically use concessions to build rapport and foster a collaborative atmosphere, leading to a more successful negotiation. Conversely, if you have less leverage, judiciously employing concessions can help bridge the gap and maintain a positive relationship.

5. Establishing Trade-Offs: In some negotiations, making a concession in one area can lead to reciprocation from the other party in a different aspect. Identify potential trade-offs and explore the possibilities of creating value for both parties through mutual concessions.

Case Study: Negotiating a Business Deal in the Pharmaceutical Industry


  1. Ravi - CEO of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

  2. Alisha - Director of a pharmaceutical distribution company.

Scenario: Ravi and Alisha are negotiating a distribution agreement for Ravi's company's new line of medications. Ravi is eager to expand his company's market share, while Alisha seeks a competitive advantage in the industry.

Concession Strategy: Ravi understands that Alisha's distribution network can significantly boost his products' reach. However, he also recognizes the value of his innovative medications for Alisha's business growth. He decides to make a concession by offering Alisha a lower wholesale price for the initial order, securing a long-term commitment for future collaborations.

Outcome: By strategically making a concession, Ravi establishes a strong partnership with Alisha's company, enabling his medications to reach a wider audience. In return, Alisha gains a competitive edge in the market by offering innovative products to her clients.

In conclusion, the art of determining when to make concessions in negotiations requires a delicate balance of understanding your priorities, assessing the other party's needs, and analyzing the value of potential trade-offs. By employing these strategies, negotiators can make informed decisions and achieve successful outcomes in diverse negotiation scenarios.

Remember, concessions should be carefully considered as part of an overall negotiation strategy, contributing to building trust and fostering mutually beneficial relationships with the other party.


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