Eight Simple Way To Negotiate Your Way Into Getting What You Want On Your Own Terms

At one point in time while I was in corporate America, I worked with a Senior Vice president of a company that never accepted any quoted contract price at face value.

It didn’t matter how many contractors were bidding on a project he would never accept any quote without negotiating. I once saw the man negotiate the price of business dinner from 200.00 down to 125.00.

I thought at first the man was just pushing his title and weight around because he could until another Vice President told me it was part of the man’s native culture to negotiate. He was native Indian. That’s when I got real interested in his tactics and started to take notes.

I ended up learning more from him about negotiating than I would have in any business school. These lessons I learned however were not restricted to business contracts. I found out that they would work in my own personal acquisitions.

General Colin Powell once said,

“You never know how much you can get away with until you try”.

That quote exemplifies just how much we constrict ourselves when we simply take what’s dictated to us without question.

I’m not suggesting anyone run out and start negotiating everything and every situation, but when it comes to prices in particular, keep in mind most contractors and retailers do have wiggle room and if you’re effective in your strategy, you can get them to wiggle.

Here are eight strategies I learned from that Senior Vice President has gotten me reduced pricing on TV’s, auto repairs, clothes, childcare, lap dances and a host of other goods and services.

  1. Somebody else will sell for less. Tell your seller you can get it for less somewhere else and you’re going to xyz store because you know they’ll sell it to you for less. You’ll be surprised how many retailers won’t let you get out of the door.
  2. Use Your Loyalty as Leverage. If its an entity that you’ve historically patronized remind them of that. “I’ve been shopping here for five years for all my electronics and this is the best you can do on this TV for me? I’m going to take my business where my loyalty means something.” I’ve had a 1% fail rate with this one. No company or contractor wants to lose a loyal paying customer over a couple of hundred dollars.
  3. Threaten To Walk Off . “If that’s the best you can do I’ll have to look someplace else.” At this point most people that you’re negotiating with will have to come to terms with the fact that all of your money is still in your pocket and none of is in their coffers. Human and corporate greed is now your best friend.
  4. Convince Them You’ll Spend More Than The Price You’re Asking. This is actually really slick and they get caught up in seeing more merchandise moved while in reality you’re not spending more money. Let’s say you’re purchasing a tablet. Point to the fact you’ll be needing a case, some peripherals, an extended warranty and you’re going to have to come back next week and get it optimized etc, etc, and all you have is ( whatever you had planned to negotiate them down to in the first place). Make sure to tell them at their price you can’t purchase that warranty they always push with major electronics and appliance. I learned from a former employee of a large retailer up selling that warranty is an integral part of a lot of salesperson’s jobs and company’s bottom line.
  5. Change Negotiators. In some cases the person you’re negotiating with is not empowered to make the decision you need them to make. Ask for their superior. If their superior is not empowered to to help you ask for that person’s superior. I’ve found after the first hand off to the next level superior I get results.
  6. Capitalize Off Of The Company’s or Product’s Lack of Performance. Research the product, service, or company that you that you are trying to acquire beforehand. If the product, service, or company is under performing that’s leverage for you. They need to move whatever it is they’re selling and they are going to be real reluctant to let a potential sale dissipate out of the door. They’re going to be even more reluctant to let a pissed of potential customer give them more bad press.
  7. Give Them Facts. Point out to them why the product or service is not worth the price they’re trying to sell it for. Let them know you know what the markup is.
  8. Stay calm and never verbally attack the person you’re negotiating with. There is no need for you to jack up the stress level by getting the other person upset. That will get you no where. Don’t take it to the personal — it’s not — it’s just business.

Your leverage is the almighty green. Money outweighs sitting inventory at every turn.

Another thing to keep in mind when negotiating for a retail price reduction is the posted price is based on the manufacturers suggested retail price. The keyword is suggested. The interpretation and reality is “It’s not etched in stone”. Why are you paying what’s suggested?.

Try a few of the above strategies out on your next shopping excursion, home improvement or repair project, or vehicle trade in / purchase.

If you need some sure fire lightweight practice before taking it to the big show, Farmers Markets, yard sales, and consignment shops are perfect negotiating settings.

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below this article.