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October 09, 2018

Negotiating Tip 79: Extra Effort Pays Off

When has extra effort NOT paid off?

Good deals don't just fall in our laps.  We have to seek them out.  We can't let artificial barriers stand in our way. 

I made an on-line purchase today and got a good (let's call it a 'better') deal just by ignoring an obstacle that would stop most consumers.

I was in need of a device to augment some video equipment I've been using and found the exact item I wanted at an on-line vendor.  I've never purchased anything like this before and frankly had no clue as to whether the price quoted was high, low or just right.

As I clicked on the item and proceeded to 'check out' I noticed a little box next to the price quote that was labeled "Promo Code".  Now who doesn't know what that refers to? 

It's a clear indicator that with that code I'd likely get a better price.  But I didn't have the code.  Most consumers wouldn't either.  Most would march on through checkout and buy the item at list price.

Undeterred, I navigated back to the company's home page, found a toll free number and gave them a call. 

My objective?  -  To get a better deal via the "Promo Code". 

My thinking?  -  They must give this code to someone.  Why not me?

My rationale?  -  If they'd make a profit selling items at their discounted "Promo Code" price, they'd be happy to make that same money from me. 

The reality? - Most people would think the task of trying to get the "Promo Code" to be too much trouble and embarrassing to seek.

Here's what happened.

I called the company, asked about the item I was wanting to purchase.  I asked if the price quoted on-line was correct.  It seemed unreasonably high.  "Is that price correct?"  (Phone Flinch) 

The lady responded that the price was indeed correct.  I said, "I was afraid of that.  That price was more than I had budgeted."  (Bracket)

Silence from the lady.  I continued,  "Is that the best you can do?"  (Crunch)

"It is." she replied.

"That's a shame.  I will have to see if I can find this item somewhere else.  Who else sells these?" (Competition and even asking her to identify the competition for me!)

Again, silence (or at least hesitation).  I chimed in quickly, "Hey, I see a "Promo Code" box at your check out page,  could I use that to secure a better price?"  (You never get anything you don't ask for.) 

She replied that the "Promo Code" is for their large volume customers and special promotions, but she didn't see any harm in providing it to me.  She did.  I thanked her and was able to get a 25% discount.  That for just a little extra effort.  

Good negotiators know that it often takes a bit of extra effort to get a better deal.

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