To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact



Chris Voss

Lesson time 13:25 min

Hard bargaining doesn’t have to mean taking a sledgehammer approach. Chris teaches you how to bargain with skill, diplomacy, and tact.

Chris Voss
Teaches The Art of Negotiation
Former FBI lead hostage negotiator Chris Voss teaches you communication skills and strategies to help you get more of what you want every day.
Get Started


- All right. So in reality, I shouldn't even be teaching a chapter on bargaining because if you listen to everything else, you've negotiated great, and you're not going to need to bargain. The deal will have made itself. In those instances, we do need to get down to brass tacks bargaining. Here's some techniques. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Ackerman System is a bargaining model attributed to a gentleman named Mike Ackerman. I was taught this bargaining model when I was doing kidnapping negotiations with the FBI. And they laid out basically, you have a target price you want to come to. Once you've picked out your target price, you're going to come in at 65% of that price. You're going to plan on making three raises to get to the price that you wanted. And the first raise is going to be 20% raise, the next raise is going to be 10%, the last raise is going to be 5%. Each one of your raises are decreasing increments by half. And then when you get to the very last number, you make sure you throw out an odd number, and you also throw in some non-monetary object that you know the other side doesn't want, but it makes them feel like they've really tapped you out. They've taken every last dime. You know, they've fought you tooth and nail. They've felt the decreases in increments. They still feel like they're winning. You come in with the last number. It's an odd number. It seems like that you scratched for every penny. And consequently, they worked so hard to get there that they want to cut the deal. They're not going to renege. All right, so I'm trying to buy a coffee table for $100. And that's what I want to pay. They're asking $150, they're asking $200. They might be asking $250. It doesn't matter. I'm going to see what their reaction is when I throw out my initial price. So I'm going to come in at 65% of where I want to end up. So I'm going to say, look, you know, I got a price. I'll give you the price, but you're not going to like it. I mean, it's going to be low. It's really going to be low. And I got a feeling that when I give you this price, it's going to make you really angry, and the last thing I want to do is offend you. So I'm scared to give you the price. Well, you're getting their permission, you know. You're giving them some emotional anchoring. What they're thinking, like, this guy wants a coffee table for nothing? What's he going to give me, $5.00 for the coffee table? They're going to imagine something that's worse than what you would ever throw out. So you finally give me permission to give you the price. And I say, no, it's going to make you angry. You know, I'm scared. I'm afraid to give you this number. And they'll almost beg you to give them the number. And then very apologetically, you gotta say, $65.00. Now they're not going to be happy with that price, but they asked you for it. They're not going to get angry because you told them they were going to get angry, and that diffused it. And you were deferential the...

Take control of the outcome

As an FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss persuaded terrorists, bank robbers, and kidnappers to see things his way. Now he’s teaching you his field-tested strategies to help you in everyday negotiations, whether you’re aiming to improve your salary, the service you receive, or your relationships. Get stronger communication skills, game-changing insights into human nature, and more of what you want out of life.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Wow. Chris Voss is a one of a kind. Thoroughly enjoyed his class and learned a ton from it. Loved the emotional end. Appreciate his authenticity + vulnerability. Really raw and very endearing. We've all been there with bullies. Grateful for his work.

Brought a really fresh sociological perspective to my eyes and I can't wait to see the world through those lens

Remarkable tools and tactics given for negotiating personally and professionally.

I learned that negotiation is an incredible tool that I can use in all of my future endeavors.


A fellow student

Chris Voss's class is the best class yet. i rewatched this twice and still come back for it.


That's the lesson I really needed. Wish I could have watched that one before traveling to Morocco where they're experts in bargaining!

Bernardo F.

I like it, this has been, in my opinion, the best lesson up to this point as we see the situation both as a buyer and as a seller, and that's important! Good advice there, too, I hadn't thought on non-monetary items, but sure they play a great role in any negotiation.

Nelson B.

Wow, this is amazing, I wish I would have had this course before I had started any of my past contracts...Extraordinary class. I'm going to have to re-watch everything on this that Chris has taught so far. I hope you have some kind of certification course and live in person somewhere after the Pandemic? Amazing teaching today. wow is all I can say. Extraordinary tools/strategies for everyone who is willing to learn this! I loved this.

Nicole L.

I feel like the lessons are particularly useful because he doesn't just apply what is being taught in that particular session to the analogies but also brings in earlier methods to make sure that everything ties in together.

Juvent H.

My Mother, self-employed, has been using that technique for almost 20 years. Hahahaha

Jacqueline M.

I learned a lot in these sessions. Now I have a plan with my pricing. Thanks

Jacqueline M.

I learned a lot in these sessions. Now I have a plan with my pricing. Thanks

Eni A.

I am blown away by this Masterclass which was my first on this platform. It may even be life changing in the way I now approach communication at home and work to get the best out of relationships. The techniques and lessons will stay with me and I am already excited about applying them in my work. The emotion Chris showed in the final lesson moved me. Thank you Chris!

Arnaud D.

I have understand the Ackerman's strategy but I'm not able to see how can I apply it if I would like to buy a new house. * My interlocutor is not the saler, ie I can only speak to a mandatory. * If the sell price is $300.000 and my price is $240.000, should I propose $156.000 ? Thank you very much for sharing your thought