Have you ever made a major purchase; say a car, or even a house? If you have then you’re familiar with the often unpleasant task of negotiation. Some people love the thrill of the deal making process. Many people hate it and even dread the thought of going back and forth with a sales person on price. Usually people take the path of least resistance and settle for something because they either want whatever it is they are negotiating for or they just really don’t like the conflict and will settle for a price that they may not have been comfortable with going into it. Love it or hate it, we negotiate every day. And it wasn’t until the last 5-6 years that I’ve discovered everything is negotiable. Once I discovered this, and started negotiating the small things that I had never dreamed of negotiating before, negotiating the bigger things became much easier.
During my experience as a financial advisor I’ve discovered that what I was being told, in terms of price, was merely a suggestion. Almost everything quoted to me, I realized, had build in profit to it for the company. If I was willing to walk away vs just paying a lesser cost they would choose the lesser cost every time. After all making something is much better than making nothing. Trade cost of $30? Not acceptable, how about $20, says the company? $24? Deal. Saved my clients money, still make it profitable for the company and we are all happy. It’s a good negotiation when the seller feels like they didn’t get quite enough and the buyer feels like they paid a little too much. In so many areas of day to day life is this true. When I register for races, often I will email a director and simply ask for a discount code and they give me a discount most of the time. Gym membership, ask to waive the signing fee or have it discounted, almost guaranteed they will do it. Credit card companies will often lower your interest rate. That shirt at Nordstrom, simply ask for 10% off. The worst that will happen is that they will so no, but often times you’ll find the answer to be a yes. Once you start doing it you will get over the shyness and be bold, be strong. Don’t be rude, and if you’re nice, but assertive, you’ll be shocked at how often you will get a price much less than had you not asked at all.
So ask. Don’t be a sucker, and don’t be a jerk. Be assertive and kind and people will be happy to give you the discount. Don’t forget they are still making a profit off of you so it is still a win for them.