OK, so we’ve been over “after the close, shut up” recently. Something reminded me tonight of another pair of closely related axioms:
- From the seller’s side: If the buyer takes your first offer, you could have gotten more.
- From the buyer’s side: If the seller takes your first offer, you could have paid less.
Now obviously, there’s not much you can do about it on this transaction. If you’re a person of integrity, then well, you just agreed to terms, so honor them.
But you can carry forward what you learned here into future negotiations. For one thing, get your reasonable-sounding number, then bump it a little bit. Always bump it a little bit. For another, play back the entire interaction, as best as you can remember it, carefully. Did the other party give you any behavioral hints? Was there anything that didn’t seem significant at the time, but might be in the context of his/her overly ready acceptance?
We tend to undervalue rapport with a potential transactional partner. If you’ve spent time with a person and you’re clicking a bit, go ahead and ask above what you think you can get (or offer below what you think you’ll have to pay). You’ve built enough relationship to absorb any minor offense resulting from a rejection.
(And they might say yes.)