What You'll Learn
  • Nibbling is a special kind of small trade or concession that is requested as the last concession
  • The nibble is uses by all cultures
  • Defend against the Nibble by being prepared with a counter-nibble

Recognize The Nibble

A small concession, maybe 1 or 2% of the total agreement/solution, which is asked for in return for concluding the negotiations with an agreement.

The Nibble is an extremely popular tactic used in almost all cultures worldwide. Nibbling is a special kind of small trade or concession, a special kind of Negotiated Yes or "Yes if…" What makes the Nibble special is that it is offered as the last concession.

Use Nibbling in Collaborative Negotiations

Plan ahead of time items that are not needed to reach agreement but can gain you an additional 1 or 2% in value, such as three product trainings sessions, immediate rebate, retroactivity of terms, access to key decision makers, etc. Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Nibbles come at the very end of negotiations
  • Make sure the Nibble is small
  • You still go with the solution even if you don't get the Nibble
  • Used consistently across many agreements over a year, Nibbling can significantly enhance the benefit you provide as a negotiator
  • Overused or resented by your counterparts, Nibbling can leave them better prepared to Nibble back, or at worse less likely to want to work with you

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: Conclude


Defend Against Nibbling

You really can't prevent a Nibble but you can easily defend. Expect to receive a Nibble and be prepared with a Counter-Nibble.