You know those moments in movies where the underdog pulls out a last minute win and you are cheering like crazy? Well, what if I told you that in the world of negotiation, there's a secret move that's just as thrilling? And you can pull it off too. It's called the nibble tactic. And no, it's not the latest snack craze.
It's a smooth, almost cheeky little maneuver that can turn a good deal into a great one. And guess what the best part is? It is so simple that you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it all along. So are you ready to be that negotiation ninja that everyone wishes they could be?
Let's dive into the nibble tactic and snack on some serious strategy.
So I want you to picture this. You are at a flea market and you were eyeing a vintage lamp that would look super swanky in your new home office. You and the seller go back and forth, back and forth, until finally you agree on a price.
But just as you're about to hand over the cash, you pause and you say, could you throw in those old books over there for free? That, my friends, is a nibble. It's a small, teeny tiny request made at the end of a negotiation, often something that seems minor compared to the main agreement. Okay, so why does the nibble tactic work like a charm?
Well, it's all about the psychology of commitment and the sunk cost fallacy. You see, when people negotiate, they're not just exchanging words and numbers, they're investing time, they're investing energy, and they're investing emotions. They're building a bridge, plank by plank by plank, towards agreement.
And once that bridge is nearly complete, nobody wants to see it go up in flames over a final tiny little request. After all that effort of reaching the agreement, the other party doesn't want the deal to fall through over something super small, right?
So they're likely to say, Sure, take the books. Just to close the deal. Think about it. You've been haggling over an hour for that vintage lamp.
You've shared stories. You've laughed at jokes. And maybe you've even bonded over a shared love of antiques. There's a connection now. You've built some rapport. There's a sense of commitment to the deal and to each other. So when you ask for those old books to be just thrown into the mix, it's not just a question. It's a test of that commitment.
The other party, they've got their hand on the handshake lever, ready to seal the deal.
They're mentally decorating their space with the cash they've made from the last sale. So the last thing they want is for the deal to unravel over something that seems, in the grand scheme of things, pretty insignificant. So, that's why they're likely to say, "Absolutely. Take the books." It's the path of least resistance.
The way to preserve the win that they've already mentally banked. But ready for the kicker? The nibble tactic also plays on the principle of reciprocity. It's a social norm that tells us we should try to repay in kind, what another person has provided us. So if you've been a good natured negotiator, the other person is subconsciously primed to return the favor.
And so when you ask for that little extra something, you're giving them an opportunity to fill that social contract.
And also we shouldn't forget about the sunk cost fallacy. It's a human tendency to continue an endeavor once an investment in money, effort, or time has been made.
This fallacy can make the other party more willing to agree to the nibble because they don't want to feel like their initial investment was for nothing.
So when you play the nibble card, right, you're not just asking for a bonus, you're tapping into deep seated psychological principles that govern how we interact and trade. It's subtle, it's clever, and when you sparingly and ethically, it can be the cherry on top of a successful negotiation sundae.
But you know what? Let's not stop there. We're going to now look at some fun examples where the nimble tactic can be surprisingly effective.
The job offer. You've just been offered a job and you're thrilled, as you should be. The salary negotiation was a bit of a marathon, but you've crossed the finish line.
Then, as you're about to accept, you say, I'm really excited to start. By the way, would it be possible to also have a parking spot reserved? It's a small ask, right? But it can make your daily work life just a bit easier. And often it's a nibble that gets a yes because the employer wants you on board and is invested in the agreement.
Now I want you to imagine you're at a car dealership. You've haggled over the price, the trade in value, the warranty, and finally you've shaken hands on a deal. Well done. As the salesperson breathes a sigh of relief, you add, I'd love to drive off with a full tank of gas. Could you fill it up for me? It's a small cost to the dealer, but a nice extra for you. And more often than not, they'll agree, because at this point, they want to see you drive away happy.
You're a freelancer, and you've just finished negotiating a rate for a project. The terms are nearly perfect, but there's just one more card to play before you seal the deal. As you're about to sign the contract, you lean in and ask, Could we also agree on a 30 percent upfront payment? It's not just about the money.
It's about establishing trust and commitment. This upfront payment helps you with your cash flow, sure, but it also sets the tone for a professional relationship where both parties have skin in the game. And since the client is keen to see you start, to watch their vision take shape under your expertise, they're inclined to nod along.
It's a win win. You get the financial security to prioritize their project and they get the peace of mind knowing that you're as invested in the kickoff as they are. But here's the thing. While the nibble tactic can be effective, it's also a bit of a tightrope walk. Use it too often or too aggressively and you risk coming off as petty or unprofessional.
It's like that friend who always asks for a bite of your dessert. Once in a while, it's fine. You can have a piece of my chocolate souffle, but do it every single time and you might not get invited to dinner again.
So, when should you use the nibble tactic?
Well, I have a few tips for you.
When the stakes are low. If the negotiation is friendly and the atmosphere is positive, a nibble can be seen as just another part of the process.
When you've given something up. If you've made a concession during the negotiation, it's more acceptable to ask for a little something in return.
When it's genuinely a small ask. The nibble should be something that's easy to give, but valuable to you.
Now let's flip the script. What if somebody tries to nibble you in a negotiation? How do you handle it without losing the deal or giving away the farm?
First, you've got to recognize what's happening.
If the request comes in just as you're about to close, that's a nibble. You can choose to agree if it's truly minor, or you can push back. Say something like, I think we've covered everything in our agreement, let's stick to what we've discussed. Or you can nibble right back. If they ask for something extra, you could say, sure, I can do that, and since we're adding things, I'd like to revisit the delivery timeline.
The key with this is to stay friendly, but firm. Remember, negotiation is a bit of a dance.
It's about give and take, and sometimes about those little extras that make everyone feel like they've got a sweet deal.
So the next time you're in a negotiation, think about the nibble. It's a small tactic that can have a huge impact. But just use it wisely and don't forget to read the room.
After all, negotiation is as much about the relationship as it is about the deal itself.
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And that's a wrap on the nibble tactic. Hopefully you found this tactic valuable and are keen on trying it out IRL. If you've got stories of your own nibbles, successful or otherwise, it happens, drop them in the comments down below. We would love to hear how you've put this strategy into play. Until next time, keep negotiating, keep communicating, and keep explearning.
I will see you in the next video. Bye for now.
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