Conditional Acceptance

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Identification

This is a “yes, but…” response: a counteroffer tactic that accepts a piece of the offer on the table, on the condition that you receive something you want in return. It works as follows: you are given a deal and told to accept it as is, but there is one term you cannot accept. Conditional acceptance is agreeing to accept the deal only if the term is changed to something agreeable for you. If your adversary is presenting you with a true ultimatum, don’t expect them to acquiesce, but if there is any room for negotiation, they will bite. You may request a sweetening of the pot, or add in.

Example

The following dialog in which assets and alimony are discussed in a divorce situation is an example: Negotiator 1: “I want $5,000 alimony per month and the Mercedes.” Negotiator 2: “Agreed, if I take 53% of the proceeds from the sale of the house.”

Solution

You can counter the counter, or reject the offer. Test an ultimatum by asking an open-ended question: “Are you open to…? If you are not open to this, how can I get my need met?”

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