Negotiation Insights

A resource of quick tips and analysis of highly effective, real life negotiation strategies.

Avoiding Buyer's Remorse: Knowing when to close

How would you feel if you had just signed a contract only to learn later that you could have achieved a better deal?

Typically, frustration, anger and a sense of loss all come to mind. Unfortunately, for less skilled negotiators, buyer’s remorse is a frequent occurrence. Common examples include; buying a car only to find out in the weeks ahead that your model is being heavily discounted to make way for an upgraded model, or accepting a job offer only to find out that your employer was prepared to offer better pay and conditions.

So why do less skilled negotiators suffer from buyer’s remorse? Some of the more obvious reasons include not building strong alternatives, and a failure to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other party’s alternatives. The other party placing a deadline on the negotiations to create a sense of scarcity and hence the motivation for you to lock in a sure gain is also a common tactic.

Quick tips – Knowing when to close

  • Before accepting a final offer, contrast the other party’s offer with your best alternative and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the other party’s alternatives.
  • Re-assess if the best options have been created to reflect each side’s preferences.
  • Before reaching agreement, observe whether concession exchanges have stopped and that those with the authority to agree are present.
  • Consider asking for a contingency in the agreement that would allow you to receive the same conditions or compensation if a better offer is given to someone else.