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The Rejection-Then-Retreat strategy is a technique used in negotiations where the negotiator begins by making an extreme request, which is almost certain to be rejected. They then follow up with a smaller, more reasonable request, which appears to be a concession.
The smaller request is more likely to be accepted because it appears to be a compromise compared to the initial extreme request.
The technique is also known as "Door-In-The-Face" technique, "Rejection-Then-Concession" technique, and "Rejection-Then-Alternative-Offer" technique.
A car salesman offers a car to a customer for $30,000. The customer says it's too expensive. The salesman then offers a lower-priced model for $25,000. The customer is more likely to accept the second offer because it appears to be a compromise compared to the initial offer.
A contractor bids $20,000 for a home renovation project, which the homeowner finds too expensive. The contractor then offers to perform a scaled-down version of the renovation for $15,000. The homeowner is more likely to accept the second offer because it appears to be a compromise.
A job candidate negotiates for a higher salary than what the employer has offered. The employer rejects the candidate's request. The job candidate then requests a smaller salary increase than the initial request. The employer is more likely to accept the second request because it appears to be a compromise.
Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2004). Social influence: Compliance and conformity. Annual review of psychology, 55(1), 591-621.
Burger, J. M., & Caldwell, D. F. (2003). The effects of monetary incentives and labeling on the door-in-the-face compliance procedure: An extension of self-perception theory. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25(4), 279-287.