When evaluating whether to make the first offer in a negotiation, here are several factors that support doing so:
1) Your side traditionally makes the first offer;
2) You have sufficient information to determine an appropriate starting point;
3) It will substantially set the parties’ expectations; and
4) You have a strategic advantage (leverage or information) which will likely lessen over time.
Finally, new research about the first offer effect (sometimes referred to as anchoring) – that negotiators typically achieve better outcomes when making the first offer than when receiving it – also supports taking the initiative and making the first offer when appropriate.