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28 Examples of Negotiation Tactics

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Negotiation tactics are techniques that can be used in the midst of negotiations to achieve objectives. They can be tricky. As such, it is important to be aware of such tactics before walking into negotiations so that you can be prepared to defend your position. The following are illustrative examples of negotiation tactics.


Coming up with reasons that a deal doesn't benefit you. For example, pointing out how a product doesn't meet all of your needs.

Objection Handling

The process of responding to objections. For example, they can be simply be ignored or a negotiator might address objections to reduce them. For example, if a customer points out a house is far from schools a real estate agent might point out there is an excellent school a few miles away.


Demanding something that isn't actually important to you in order to concede it later to make the other side feel they have won.

Active Silence

Making the other side uncomfortable with an awkward silence designed to get them to make the next step.

Request an Offer

It is common to push the other side to make an offer. This can be to your advantage as it shows what they are thinking and allows you numerous responses such as acting as if the offer is out of reason.

Unjustified Assumptions

Making unjustified assumptions such as an employer who assumes an offer is contingent upon the job candidate starting next week.

Take Back

Give something and then take it back. For example, a salesperson who offers a 30% discount but later offers a 10% discount.

Selective Listening

Hearing what you want to hear as opposed to what is being said.

Absent Authority

Claiming that authority to approve a request isn't in the room. For example, a salesperson who leaves the negotiating table to ask a manager to approve a price. If the price is rejected, the person who rejected it isn't available to the other side.

Higher Authority

Imply that you are able to take negotiations to a higher authority if the other side doesn't concede. For example, a salesperson who claims to have a line to the customer's CEO. This might even go so far as implying that the opposing negotiating team may end up in trouble somehow for not reaching a deal.

Change Up

Changing your dominant negotiator and acting as if everything is starting anew.

Divide & Conquer

Trying to get the other side disagreeing with each other or pointing out inconsistencies in their stated needs and objections. This may throw the other side into disarray or shake their confidence.

Fear of Missing Out

Suggesting that the deal is at risk due to competition from other interested parties. For example, a salesperson who suggests that an item is the last in stock because it is so popular. This is designed to trigger a fear of missing out.


Imply urgency or give ultimatums that suggest a deal must be reached within a short period of time.


If time is on your side, keep delaying things or threaten to delay. For example, salespeople are often in a rush to close a deal to meet their monthly and quarterly targets. This means that customers often have time on their side and can use an offer of a quick decision to gain concessions.

Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt

Label alternatives to your offer as risky, uncertain and unknown. For example, a salesperson from a large firm who casts smaller competitors as being unstable, unreliable, unestablished and generally risky.


Asserting the reverse of what you want. For example, a salesperson that implies a product isn't right for a customer.

Give Out Wins

Structure negotiations to make the other side feel that they have won. This may extend to each influencer on the other side. For example, it is standard practice to set high sticker prices so that customers feel they have negotiated a good deal.

Escalating Demands

Respond to concessions with ever increasing demands.

Late Objections

Introduce new obstacles to a deal just as things are about settled.

Standout Offer

Propose several offers with one that is obviously better than the others. This may cause the other side to jump at the better offer.


Pitch an offer repeatedly to highlight its benefits and the risks of alternatives. For example, "500k is a steal for this property and it allows you to get the house you want today before someone else makes a better offer and starts a bidding war."

Cards on the Table

Honestly stating your position and directly saying what you really want. For example, an employer offers a salary of 75k and you say "honestly, there is no way I can accept anything lower than 105k but I am flexible about the start date."


Formulating proposals whereby both sides compromise something.

Bigger Picture

Stating the greater context of things to cast minor differences as insignificant. For example, "you saved a little on price but the main thing is that this is the safest car for your family, check the data and crash tests and look at our competition."

Question Goals

Ask the other side to clarify their goals in order to make a point. "Is it salary or the opportunity to work with the best minds in the industry that is important to you?"

Dry Well

Show that you have nothing else to give. For example, I can give you the 40% discount but the free options you are asking for are simply against our policy.

Final Push

Ask for a small concession at the very end just before you seal the deal. For example, a customer who asks for a free option just before signing.
Overview: Negotiation Tactics
Techniques used in the midst of negotiations to achieve objectives.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about negotiation.
Abundance Mentality
Active Silence
Agree To Disagree
Anticipating Objections
Call To Action
Choice Architecture
Door In The Face
Final Offer
Low Ball
Negotiating Power
Foot In The Door
Negotiation Process
Ground Rules
Negotiation Tactics
Social Perception
Message Framing
Win-Win Negotiation
More ...
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