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Apply The Art Of Reciprocal Concession to Master Sales!

The rule of reciprocal concession, also known as the "door-in-the-face" technique, is a persuasion strategy based on the principle of reciprocity. The technique involves making a larger initial request that is likely to be rejected and then following it up with a smaller, more reasonable request. The idea is that the person who initially rejects the larger request is more likely to agree to the smaller request as a form of reciprocity.

The art of reciprocal concession, often known as the "door-in-the-face" technique, is a powerful strategy in sales and negotiation. Here's how you can apply this technique effectively in sales:

1. Start with a Bold Offer:

  • Begin the negotiation with a relatively high or bold offer. This offer should be more than what you realistically expect the prospect to agree to. For example, quote a higher price or propose a more comprehensive package.

2. Anticipate Rejection:

  • Expect that the initial offer will be rejected. This rejection is part of the strategy to create a sense of reciprocity when you make a concession later.

3. Make a Concession (Real Offer):

  • After the rejection of the initial offer, follow up with a more reasonable or realistic offer. This is the actual offer you had in mind from the beginning.

4. Highlight the Concession:

  • Explicitly acknowledge the concession you are making. Emphasize that you've adjusted the terms in response to their concerns or preferences.

5. Demonstrate Flexibility:

  • Position the concession as a demonstration of your flexibility and willingness to work with the prospect. This fosters a positive impression and can create a sense of obligation on their part.

6. Build Rapport:

  • Use the process of making and reciprocating concessions to build rapport with the prospect. Show that you are reasonable, understanding, and willing to find a mutually beneficial agreement.

7. Emphasize Value:

  • Throughout the negotiation, emphasize the value they will receive in return for their agreement. Help them see the benefits of your product or service.

8. Provide Justification:

  • Justify the initial bold offer by explaining the high quality, unique features, or added value that comes with it. This helps in framing the concession as a reasonable adjustment.

9. Create a Win-Win Scenario:

  • Frame the negotiation as a collaborative effort to find a win-win solution. This reinforces the idea that both parties are working together for mutual benefit.

10. Handle Objections Professionally:


  1. Large Request: "Could you donate $100 to our charity?"

  2. Rejection (Expected): The person might say no to the $100 donation.

  3. Smaller Request: "Alright, how about a $20 donation instead?"

  4. Increased Likelihood of Agreement: The person might be more inclined to agree to the $20 donation, perceiving it as a compromise.


The principle behind this technique is rooted in the norm of reciprocity. When someone makes a concession or compromise (by agreeing to the smaller request), the other person may feel a sense of obligation to reciprocate the favor. It plays on the psychological tendency for people to feel the need to return a favor or concession.

However, it's important to use this technique ethically and with consideration for the other person's feelings and interests. If it's perceived as manipulative or insincere, it can backfire and harm relationships. Additionally, it might not work in every situation, as individuals vary in their responses to different persuasion techniques.

Understanding the rule of reciprocal concession can be valuable in negotiation, sales, and other situations where persuasion is involved. It highlights the importance of framing requests strategically and leveraging the principle of reciprocity to increase the likelihood of agreement.


  • Timing is Key: The timing of the concession is crucial. It should follow the rejection of the initial offer but not be delayed too long to lose its impact.

  • Build Trust: The art of reciprocal concession works best in an atmosphere of trust. Building trust throughout the negotiation is essential for the technique to be effective.

  • Use Ethically: Always use the door-in-the-face technique ethically and genuinely. If prospects feel manipulated, it can harm the relationship.

Remember that successful sales negotiations involve a balance of assertiveness, empathy, and effective communication. The goal is to create a positive and collaborative atmosphere that leads to a favorable outcome for both parties.

Hireblox is a full service staffing and recruitment agency that can help you throughout the process of finding your next dream job, so do not hesitate to contact us.

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