Everything in Life is Negotiable

My best guess is that you and most people you know are uncomfortable with “formal” negotiations for several reasons. First, you do not believe that negotiating is a natural event. Formal negotiations tend to be viewed from the perspective that the only possible outcome from a negotiation is that one party “wins” and the other party “loses”.

What appears to be so ominous to many people is something they probably do not realize is part of their everyday life. In fact, all of us are involved in negotiations of one sort or another throughout the day and the night at work and at home. At work, you are negotiating with other employees, with your bosses, with other departments, with customers, etc. At home, you are negotiating with other members of the family. Some people even negotiate with their pets.

Look around and observe what’s going on around you during the course of the day. You’ll soon realize that negotiating is taking place everywhere, and that it is an integral part of everyday life.

My approach to negotiating is based on two premises:
1. Everything in life is negotiable
2. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Think about how often you’ve walked into a store, picked out an item, gone to the checkout counter and paid the price shown on the ticket. Not every time, but in many cases, you’ve left something on the table. Had you negotiated, you really could have done better. Just because there is a price tag on an item does not mean that you have to accept it. You’re probably shaking your head right about now and saying “Yeah right” I’ll just walk into a store and tell the sales person that their price is too high and I want a better price.

Before you laugh too hard, next time you go into a store, keep the following points in mind:
o You are the customer
o The sales person wants to make a sale
o Your money will spend anywhere
o There are competitors’ stores offering the same merchandise
o You need to be convinced as to why you should purchase the item from the store you’re in as opposed to somewhere else.

If the salesperson and possibly the store manager do not understand the situation from your perspective, they need to be made aware of your thought process in a gentle way. In other words, you need to try and get them to understand that if they do not in some way satisfy you, you probably will take your money somewhere else to get a better deal. You really do not have to hit them over the head with a hammer to get them to understand that you are the customer, and that the potential for making —-or losing — the sale is in their hands.