In difficult negotiations, use the Ackerman Model.

The genius of the Ackerman Model is that it uses the tools and tactics discussed earlier: reciprocity, extreme anchors, loss aversion, etc. You can set your target going into a negotiation with your numbers already decided. Prepare, prepare, prepare. When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion; you fall to your highest level of preparation. So design your ambitious but legitimate goal beforehand, and use the Ackerman Model in tough negotiations. Remember, don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.


  1. Set your target price (or goal).

  2. Set your first offer at 65% of your goal.

  3. Calculate three raises of decreasing increments (to 85%, 95%, and 100%).

  4. Use empathetic ways of saying “no” to get the other side to counter before you increase your offer.
    “No” examples that are empathetic include, “I’m sorry that doesn’t work for me.” Or, “I’m sorry I just can’t get it done at that price.”

  5. When calculating your target price or final offer, use precise non-round numbers.
    For example, $37,893 instead of $38,000. It gives your number credibility and weight.

  6. On your final number, throw in a non-monetary item to show that you are at your limit.
    For example, “The final price I could do this at is $37,893, and I’ll need you to throw in six months worth of promotional material I can mail out to your customers.”


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