How to Negotiate a Deal
Posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Knowing how to negotiate a deal can save you loads of money and help you become an even better bargain hunter. While couponing can save a lot of money, especially in the grocery store, negotiating can increase your savings even further. Before you start negotiating, there are a few preliminary questions you need to ask:
- First, you have to know yourself. What are you willing to spend? What would you like to spend? What is your budget? What is the item or service you are negotiating over worth to you? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to communicate your intentions more clearly.
- Second, you have to know the other party (aka the person you are negotiating with). What is their asking price? What is their minimum price? What is their budget like?
Once you have gathered the answers to these questions, you are ready to begin negotiating a deal. You could be anywhere – a garage sale, a car lot, a doctor’s office, a hotel, an auto service station, a utility company, a rental agency, a flea market. I’ve had the best luck negotiating with service providers, but you never know where you might be able to negotiate a deal – it could even be at a restaurant or clothing store. However, you probably won’t have any luck negotiating at chain restaurants or stores, as these prices are set by upper management and not the clerks who you have contact with. Before you try to negotiate, be sure the person you are talking to actually has the power to offer a deal. Here are a few more tips to get you through the negotiating process:
- Ask questions! This is the #1 rule of negotiating. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by asking just a few simple questions. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions, which is why they are unable to negotiate, which brings me to my next tip…
- Act comfortable and natural. Asking questions will be a breeze if you just be yourself. True, it can be uncomfortable to probe a seller with questions, but if you don’t let on, I promise no one will know if you’re uncomfortable.
- Establish a common ground with the other party. That is, find something you both have in common (by asking questions, of course!) and return to it often. By creating a bond with the other party, they will be more comfortable and willing to negotiate with you. Do this before you start negotiating, and the other party will feel more invested in the situation.
- Don’t ramble. Once you’ve asked for a deal, keep quiet until the other party returns with an answer. Continuing to ramble may kill your chances of scoring the deal.
- Assume a discount. Instead of asking if they other party can offer a discount, ask what the discount is.
- Always stay positive, friendly, and smile! If you are likable, people will be more willing to negotiate with you.
- If you do manage to negotiate a deal, be sure the get the offer in writing (where it applies, such as in a rental contract).
- If all else fails, be able to walk away. If you are unable to negotiate the deal you desire, it is okay to walk away. Think of negotiating as a business transaction, not a personal investment.