I’m back in school and I’m taking a negotiation class because who doesn’t want to be a better negotiator? I sure do because then I can get better deals on everything and hopefully find creative value-creating solutions.
Getting to No
One of our assignments is to make requests and get rejected ten times. I think this is a great idea! It has made me try more extreme asks. I challenge you to go ask for things because only good things can happen. I asked my kitesurf instructor to make a package of lessons and got €5/hour discount. Same thing happened for my Portuguese lessons. If they say yes, then maybe next time you should try a larger discount.
Getting to Yes
When negotiating something you have to expand the scope as much as possible to try to create value. In a case where price is the only element getting a discount takes away from the seller’s revenue. However, if you are able to expand the scope then maybe you can offer something that creates value for them while asking for something that creates value for you.
My best effort
Asking for a small discount isn’t too hard, but asking for a novel solution can be intimidating. One day I went to the local Marriott and asked if I could stay there for €1,000 a month, which would be a huge discount to their regular rate. They did not laugh at me or dismiss my request, but they gave me the number for their revenue director. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible because there were many days that were already fully booked, but as you can see, anything can be requested.
When you get a new job many times you can negotiate. The salary may be fixed, but what about the start date, the signing bonus, training period, relocation assistance? We did a mock negotiation in class and it is not a necessarily a zero-sum game. You may value an extra week of vacation at $2,000 and your company may value it at $1,000, so by negotiating an extra week and decreasing your salary by $1,200 you’d both be winning.
Lots of times you can be a better deal simply by asking. Challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone and ask for a price lower than the one listed or for something you’d like that isn’t listed. A friend managed to take home a small bucket of olives which he asked for because he was sure they’d say no. Get out there and good luck.