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2009-07-02 17:53:26

Capitalizing On Negotiating Opportunities


Hello Good Negotiators!

What's your system of remembering things? 
How do you ensure you don't forget to do something crucial? Do you log it in your daytimer? Put a reminder memo in your Blackberry?
Put a Post-It-Note on the edge of your computer screen?  
We all have our systems, but apparently they're failing us in one crucial area. That area is capitalizing on negotiating opportunities. 
In the latest edition of Consumer Reports magazine an interesting statistic was reported.   A survey of their subscribers revealed that only 10% of people buying small appliances and only 33% of major appliance purchasers tried to negotiate the price.
I'm only speculating here, but I suspect that the subscribers to Consumer Reports are likely to be America's most prudent and assertive consumers. 
I'm also thinking they would be more likely to negotiate during their purchases than the general population. But only 10% or 33% trying - that's dismal.
Oh, here's the rest of the story. That same article shared that of those that did try to negotiate a better (appliance) purchase price, 75% got a $50 - $100 better deal. Do you realize, that's easy money, just for asking.
Good News - Bad News
The obvious bad news is that way too few are actively seeking a better deal.
But here's the good news - if everyone did seek that 'better deal', vendors and store owners would be less likely to give them.
Put another way, thank heaven that so few are asking for a bargain.
Those small numbers (10% and 33% in the appliance example) are therefor more likely to get that price concession than if everyone was asking for them. 
I don't want to seem selfish or crude here, but I kind of like it when everyone else is paying full price. It greatly enhances my chance (and yours) of getting a discount.
Sting on Your Finger
So what's your reminder, your prompt, your tickler file to ask for that better deal? Here's my two.   Anytime I get either of two things from my pocket, I'm reminded to ask for a better deal, a discount or some courtesy.
The two things?   A dollar bill or my credit card.
Good negotiators know when these two items make an appearance is buying time and BARGAINING TIME. Before you hand that cash to the clerk or slide your credit card through their machine slot, pause, flinch and ask for a better deal.
Most people won't do that. (67% to 90%) That's good.
75% of those that do - get a better deal.
What's the worst thing that can happen when you ask?
Remember the old negotiating axiom, "You never get anything you don't ask for".
Good negotiators - use your cash and your credit cards as the visual reminder to begin the bargaining.
Licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker for over 35 years, John Hamilton is an author, national speaker and educator who specializes in the art of negotiation. His most popular workshop is, “Negotiating: What’s Mine Is Mine, What’s Yours Is Negotiable” John was the 2002 President of the International Real Estate Educators Association and conducts over 125 seminars annually to business, banking, auctioneer, manufacturer representatives and real estate Boards/Associations. John's book KEEP Negotiating has become a desktop favorite for active real estate agents everywhere For past 15 years he has presented training program nationwide on sales, negotiating and motivational topics.

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