Negotiation Tactic #38 – Moving the Deadline

Summary: Changing the time for reaching a decision on a deal point.

Since many negotiators set a deadline for making a decision, it is important to note that almost every deadline can be moved. Instead of hastily making a bad decision under the gun of a deadline, consider changing it.


A salesperson tells a potential buyer that the sale price on a particular product will be available only until the end of the month. The buyer explains, “That is too bad because I do not get paid until the fifth of next month and all my credit cards are maxed out. Is it possible that on this one item you could get management’s approval to give me a rain check on the sale price until the fifth?”


The salesperson could counter this tactic by protesting that his company has a formal written policy of not extending the sale price on items, since doing so would mean that everything in the store would be on sale all the time! A second effective counter is the tactic of There Is More Than One Way to Skin a Cat. The salesperson could offer the option of a layaway, writing up the sale today but setting the product aside until the fifth. This would accomplish both counterparts’ goals.

Have you used or encountered this tactic in your negotiations? If so, how’d it go?

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