What is Accommodation Negotiation? 3 Powerful Strategies + Examples

A question that is always asked here at Procurement Tactics is that is there any type of negotiation style wherein you don’t have to play hardball negotiator.

Luckily, there is one such style.

Read on and find out more about the accommodation negotiation style.

The Accommodation Negotiation Style Debunked

Completely opposite from the usual “hardball” competitive negotiation style, the accommodation negotiations style is the mild or selfless version of all negotiation tactics.

Probably known as the “good guy” negotiation style, your aim or objective throughout the whole negotiation is for the benefit of the other party. You might get something out of it, but it is the other party who truly gains from this negotiation style.

Contrary, the competitive negotiation style is all about getting what you want. For this particular negotiation strategy, it’s time to be selfless and understanding for the sake of benefits that you can take advantage of in the future.

Below you’ll see the overview of where accomodation negotiation fits within the negotiation syles framework.

    Accommodation Negotiation Style – When Do the Pros Use It?

    There will be times that you, the negotiator, must think about the bigger picture in the potential future. You may gain smaller rewards today, but it does not always mean bigger opportunities later.

    Thus, there is always a reason why you must be patient and understanding when negotiating with people or with a company. When done right, you may even turn things around towards your benefit in the end!

    Here are some best examples as to when a negotiator or procurement manager can use the accommodation negotiation style:

    • When you find out that you are in the wrong.
    • When you want to be the reasonable party during the negotiation.
    • When you are looking to minimize your losses.
    • When you want to maintain amicable terms with the other party.
    • When you are trying to improve relations with the other party.

    The Advantages of the Accommodation Negotiation Style

    So why use the accommodation negotiation style at all if you, the negotiator, are not going to get the juiciest deal?  

    Here are some of the advantages that a negotiator may want to consider:

    • When done properly, you will end up as the better person during and after the negotiation.
    • You want to continue having good terms with the other party.
    • You can control your losses to a minimum by agreeing to a compromise.
    • The other party may have a better impression of you by agreeing to their terms.
    • The other party may even agree to terms that may benefit you as a show of respect.

    The Disadvantages of the Accommodation Negotiation Style

    If it’s the other party who’s going to benefit from the accommodation negotiation style, then clearly a seasoned negotiator or procurement manager must distinguish its disadvantages. 

    Some of the disadvantages of this negotiation style are as follows:

    • You’ll end up getting frustrated as you’re getting the short end of the straw.
    • Your self-esteem is undermined.
    • It may generate a lack of confidence among your peers.
    • It gives the other party an opportunity to make more demands.
    Accomodation Negotiation Example Cartoon
    Editor's note:

    The Negotiation Game Changer Certificate program teaches you the skills needed to drive better, fact-based decisions that ultimately benefit both organizations and its employees. As a negotiation game changer, you will have a comprehensive analytics skill set that will enable you to achieve deals with results you have been dreaming of.

    Accommodation Negotiation Examples

    Accommodation negotiation example – Dan

    • Dan is a 35-year-old marketing negotiation manager for a mobile phone company.
    • He is in charge of getting in touch with retail stores for marketing campaigns.

    Dan is working on creating a big summer marketing campaign for his mobile phone company’s newest mobile phone. He signed up numerous retail stores for the campaign. Unfortunately, a problem with the delivery vans triggered a series of events that caused the new mobile phones to arrive late during the summer marketing campaign. 

    In order to alleviate the frustration coming from the retail store owners, Dan personally apologized to the owners and created a new follow-up marketing campaign where a limited number of the new mobile phone will be sold at a limited time only to the first few customers who went to the retail stores early during the summer marketing campaign.

    Not only did this ensure profit for the retail store owners, it also made them feel that Dan was really sorry for what happened. Thus improving Dan’s reputation among other mobile retail store owners.

    Want to check out more negotiation case studies? We actually created an overview with 13 inspiring real-life negotiation examples.

    It starts with the proper preparation for better, fact-based procurement decisions that benefit both your organization and your career. As a Data-Driven Procurement Specialist, you have a comprehensive set of analytics skills to improve data-driven decision making for procurement. The waiting list closes soon.

    Accommodation negotiation example – Jacklyn

    • Jacklyn is given the task of procuring 100 new desktop computers for the new workers in the IT company.
    • She visits local computer shops until she finds a good deal.

    She arranges the transaction and pays for the computers in full.

    However, when the delivery date came, Jackly was informed that only half of the computers arrived on time. 

    Jacklyn was promised by the owner that the computers would come on time so she storms to the local computer shop to demand the owner to make do on his request. But as soon as she starts talking to the owner, her mobile phone rings and it was the inventory manager on the line. Apparently, the inventory manager made a mistake and the computers were actually delivered but not tagged properly. 

    Quickly thinking before things got heated, Jacklyn apologized profusely and informed the owner of the shop that the mistake was on their end. As a sign of good faith, Jacklyn promised the shop owner that they will get more computers from their store in the next couple of months.

    Fortunately, the shop owner understood the situation and the whole situation ended on a good note.


    Accommodation Negotiation Strategies

    Now that we understand what accommodation negotiation style is, are there any particular strategies that a seasoned negotiator or procurement manager should take note of?

    There are a lot of strategies to take note of actually. However, we are going to list down some of the most important ones for you to take note of:

    • Because it is considered a “good guy” negotiation tactic, one should always only use this negotiation style during instances where you want to preserve a good relationship status between your party and the other.
    • When you do end up making a compromise, always make sure to deliver it. Nothing is more disastrous than making false promises!
    • When apologizing, you must sound like you really do mean it. Yes, it’s important.
    • When thinking about a good compromise, make sure that it won’t be a big loss for your company. Always remember, the aim here is to minimize your losses.
    • In essence, the accommodation negotiation style is only great and effective towards two parties that have a great working relationship toward each other.
    • It can also be used in the case where a negotiator or procurement manager wants to establish a relationship between the company he/she is representing and the other party or company.
    • This is a situational negotiation strategy where a keen and observant eye is also important. Always assess the situation before employing it.
    • If you feel that the other party is abusing the accommodation negotiation style by asking for ridiculous or underhanded requests, then stop negotiating and simply walk away.


    • What is Accommodation Negotiation?
    • It is a negotiation style where a negotiator shows more concern for the results of the other party rather than his own.

    • When to use accommodation negotiation?
    • Oftentimes used as a way of apologizing over a mistake, the accommodation style is also used to get on the good side of the other party.

    • Why would you use an accommodation negotiation style?
    • A negotiator may use the accommodation style to improve his/her relationship with the other party/negotiator.

    Are you Ready to Become a Master Negotiator?

    Only the best negotiators and procurement managers can use the accommodation negotiation style effectively. These are professionals who have studied and nurtured their craft by studying together with the very best.

    You can have that opportunity as well. You can master your negotiation skills! All of these from just one master course!

    "Very useful course, many actionable strategies"

    Want to close better deals? Prepare faster and achieve deal results you have been dreaming of?   This course is a perfect fit for ambitious procurement & sourcing professionals. Enroll  now and equip yourself with the full range of skills needed to master the deal.