1. Ask for it
You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you ask for. If you want a discount they you need to ask for it, if you want a pay rise at work you need to ask for it. Step one is asking. If you want extra break in the restaurant ask for it.
My wife is a legend at asking for a discount. We are out booking hotels and she asks, “is that the best price you can do?” always with a smile on her face and it is amazing how many times it works!
Have you ever been given a speeding ticket? I have… It sucks! The reason I got the speeding ticket was because I was driving too fast (obviously) through the country roads of Newbury. Not because I was going at a safer speed. By speeding, I was asking for that speeding ticket. I didn’t get it because I was singled out by the police for some unknown reason; I asked for the speeding ticket. Is there much point in me getting angry? Sure, it’s a minor inconvenience… ‘an expensive fumble’ as it were but it’s my fault… I asked for it!
If you want (or don’t want) things to happen, you need to ask for it. Ask for a better price, ask for something for free, ask for a favour. If you do not ask, no one is going to give you it. Did we give you this content? Or did you go online and ask for it…
One last thing: Ask nicely! It goes a long way...
In negotiation, persuasion and influence there is one word that is going to help you so much and that is because. When you are asking for a discount you need to give a reason, when you are asking for a raise you need to give a reason and having a because makes your argument far more compelling.
Can I have a discount please:
It doesn’t really matter what the reason is you just need to have one to better increase your chances of getting the answer you are after. For more on this read Influence by Robert Cialdini.
Know what you want. If you don’t know what you want it is very difficult to get it.
Set a clear goal before you enter any negotiation at all, how much do you want to buy it for? How much do you want to sell it for? What’s the least amount you would take? What’s the price you won’t pay?
If you go into a negotiation with a clear idea of what you want out of it you are far more likely to get it!
5. Be Prepared to walk away
There are two bed shops in the town where I live which is really handy for negotiation on a mattress. It went a bit like this:
Q: What’s the best price you can do on this mattress?
A: The price is £459
Q: Is that the BEST price you can do though?
A: We can’t discount the price but maybe we could do free delivery. I’ll have to ask the manager.
Q: Is the manager free now? I don’t have too much time.
A: I’ll go and get her.
Q: Hi are you the manager?
A: Yes hello how can I help.
Q: I know you’ll be able to do free delivery but what’s the BEST price you can offer me on this mattress.
A: I’m afraid that is the best price.
Q: You don’t have to be afraid. If you’re not able to discount I’ll go and look in some other shops [starts to walk away].
A: Before you go we might be able to do a small discount.
It also helped that I had my son with me who was 18 months old at the time and (luckily) wasn’t having a retail meltdown but instead was jumping on the bed and being super cute. If you’d like to borrow a baby for your mattress shopping please ensure you have permission from the parents.
If you only have one option of where to buy it is really tough to negotiate but if there are two providers, if you are willing to walk away it is amazing what you can negotiate!
6. Don’t go first VS go first
There are conflicting views on this. We helped an indie publisher (Rita) in the UK to get their business launched and they had some fun with a print supplier. When she negotiated with them she immediately went first on price.
She said: “It’ll only be cheap won’t it – about £5?” The colour drained from his cheeks and he said: “I’d normally charge £20! I’ll do it for £10.” Rita immediately agreed – a 50% discount! She told me afterwards that she had a strong feeling he was happy with the deal because he got twice the amount he was expecting from her.
Going first sets out the marker. Imagine if the printer came out and said £30 straight away. It would’ve made it much harder for Rita to start at £5.
On the other side of the coin if you are selling rather than buying you might want to find out the other persons budget before you tell them your price so at least you know you are in the same ball park!
When I first sold a train course to Microsoft I went first and told them my price. I found out later that they were paying 10 times the amount I had asked for somewhere else! 10 times! I wasn’t even playing in the right league with my quote. I should have asked them first.
7. Factor Trading
Price is only one factor in a negotiation. There are so many other things you can trade on. If you are stuck on price then think of the other things you can negotiate with:
There are so many factors to trade and negotiate with. Don’t just get stuck on price!
8. play the Long Game
A negotiation doesn’t have to all happen in one meeting! It can happen over a period of time. Don’t think you have to get it all done today. Walk away, come back next week, see if it is still for sale in a week’s time. Play the long game.
When we were buying an investment flat we made a cheeky offer that got rejected. So we left it a month to see if it was still for sale. After a month it was still for sale! So we made a second cheeky offer (slightly more than last time); We were rejected again.
Another month passed and it was still on the market so we made another offer. We eventually got it saving £21,000 off the price! If we hadn’t played the long game and worked over the period of months we never would have got that amount of discount buying it!
9. Do Your Homework
You have got to know your market!
You have got to know what is going on in the market and the key players. The better informed you are the more likely you are to get the deal you want.
On the other side if you know the market then you can defend yourself against being negotiate against because you can tell them it is a good price. If you know they can’t get it cheaper on Amazon, if you know that they can’t go down the road and buy it for less then you can tell them and maintain the integrity of your pricing.
In negotiation knowing the competition, knowing the market, knowing the person you are talking to and what motivates them gives you power in the situation.
10. Watch this video of alan
See negotiation as a game. It is a fun game to play to see if you can get money off when buying a camera in the Sony Shop, or getting your next set of business cards. It is a game. It is also a game that everyone else is going to try and play with you when you are selling to them so knowing these tools and techniques is going to keep you safer and allow you to maintain price integrity!
Enjoy playing the game and comment below and let us know what discounts you get!