Apr 19, 2021

Let the other person go first

In negotiations, you should almost always try to let the other side anchor first.

I have definitely made this mistake before in a salary negotiation. In my first and only job out of college, when asked what I expected to make, my initial offer was so low that the offer they countered with was 25% higher than what I was asking for. Who knows what I could’ve gotten had I actually gave a number they had to negotiate down from.

The issue is that neither side has perfect information when going in. This means you don’t know enough to open with confidence. That being said, you have to be careful when letting the other side go first. If the person you’re dealing with is a professional, they will open the negotiation with an extreme anchor to bend your reality. Keep this in mind when you hear their first offer and don’t let it throw you off.

Sometimes the other person insists on you going first, in which case, the next tactic I will discuss will help you respond appropriately.