What You'll Learn
  • A Crunch is designed to encourage the other side to move off their current position and make a concession, or to explore and generate creative options
  • A Crunch is a response to an offer that does not come in the form of a counter-offer
  • Never respond to a Crunch with a concession
  • To recognize, use and defend against a Crunch

Recognize the Crunch

A Crunch is a response to an offer that does not come in the form of a counter-offer (sometimes called a Flinch or Wince).

The Crunch is a unique kind of Probe. It is so universally recognized that it earned its own name. A Crunch is designed to encourage the other side to move off their current position and make a concession, or to explore and generate creative options.


Expect this tactic to be used as part of one of these Negotiation Strategies (competitive, collaborative, avoidance, accommodation, compromise) and in these stages of the Negotiation Process (Preparation, Exchange, Bargain, Conclude, Execution).

Negotiation Strategies: Collaborative, Competitive and Compromise
Negotiation Stage: Bargain


Use the Crunch in Collaborative Negotiations

Both verbal and nonverbal Crunches are widely accepted in collaborative negotiations. As usual, don't over do it, and keep the Crunch respectful of the relationship and situation.

Defend Against the Crunch

Like the Nibble, you can't prevent a Crunch. Never respond to a Crunch with a concession; otherwise it is considered a unilateral concession. Instead, Counter-Crunch by challenging all Crunches with an equally assertive or greater Crunch.