Ray Makela

By: Ray Makela on December 28th, 2015

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3 Types of Negotiation Tactics and How To Respond (With Examples)

Selling Skills | Negotiating

In the Star Wars saga, “The Force” can be used for good or evil, depending on who’s wielding the power and how it's utilized.

While types of negotiation tactics may not have the power to move heavy objects or control the mind, they can be instrumental in achieving a mutually beneficial outcome in a business-to-business transaction. They can mean the difference between successfully moving a deal forward and getting taken advantage of by a manipulative buyer.

3 Types of Negotiation Tactics and How To RespondCollaborative tactics are ones that help get to a mutually beneficial outcome and enhance the value of the relationship. Manipulative tactics are ones that take advantage of the other party or trick the other side into conceding. We're typically more familiar with manipulative practices because we've all seen them in play at used car lots with pushy product salesmen, or with vacation timeshare pitches. There are also some methods that can be used either collaboratively or manipulatively depending on the context.

Leveraging collaborative negotiation tactics with your customers will likely result in higher customer loyalty, repeat business, longer terms of engagement, and a high lifetime value. 

Highly strategic accounts are best served by engaging the buyer with collaborative negotiation tactics. 

Manipulative approaches are often used when there is no value in a longer-term relationship (one-time transaction). The seller is only interested in getting the deal done and may take advantage or “trick” the buyer into accepting the deal. This doesn't form the basis for a positive long-term business-to-business relationship.

Not every negotiator (even in a business-to-business transaction) will approach the negotiation with a collaborative mindset. It’s important to be able to both recognize and deal with the manipulative tactics you encounter. There are literally dozens of these different methods that we discuss in our Value-Driven Negotiation Workshop, but the tables below provide a few examples of Collaborative, Neutral, and Manipulative Tactics and discuss appropriate Countermeasures. 


Example Collaborative Tactics:



Example Neutral Tactics (can be used either to collaborate or manipulate):



Example Manipulative Tactics:


By learning to identify and name the appropriate tactic, you can begin to take away some of the power of that tactic. This also puts you in a better position to respond appropriately. Tactics can be used for good or evil, much like force.

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Have you ever come across any of these techniques? How did you handle it? Share your tips and experiences here.


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About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.