7 Rules To Negotiate Savings
I’ve saved chunks of money, simply because I was willing to negotiate.
Here are my 7 haggling rules for getting a better deal.
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
How To Haggle
If you’re trying to save money, negotiating with large companies could result in significant savings!
There are 2 ways of achieving this: A – Be Charming. B – Be Professional. I use ‘B‘ all the time. And, here are my 7 rules for getting a great deal…
Allow Yourself To Negotiate
Most people aren’t comfortable negotiating, and business owners know this!
It may be your upbringing, fear of shame from your peer group, shame in the moment, or just the pressure of engaging with someone in a more rigorous way.
The first step to making some easy savings, is accepting that you’re allowed to negotiate.
Be Polite While Negotiating
A simple, but important, rule.
The idea is to negotiate savings, not to offend.
Fact is, you should be in a professional state of mind when negotiating. As if you were at a place of work, and dealing with a customer of your own.
You want the answer to one question: how low can you go?
You won’t find out if you’re rude!
Take Names & (Reference) Numbers
When I speak with a customer service person, they normally want to run me through a security check. They require my name and my details.
Some are impolite and seem to use this first initial interaction as a power grab.
That is to say, the tone and direction of the conversation is dictated by the service provider.
I seek to reverse this immediately. I would like their name, their department and a reference number for the call, if applicable.
There are a couple of reasons to do this:
• First, I want to get them used to answering my questions, rather than me answering theirs.
• Second, I want a reference for the conversation we’re about to have.
I’m already accountable, and I want my counterpart to know that they’re accountable too.
In my experience, once I go through this process I tend to draw a more balanced conversation.
Be Willing To Walk Away
The most important fact I bring into any negotiation, is that I’m willing to walk away.
I’m not interested in running around, trying to find a ‘better’ price, then going back to the original seller to say, “can you beat it?”.
Nope. I’m on the phone with you now. If you have an offer to make, let’s hear it.
If the sales-person doesn’t care, then I’ll be on my way to another company. Or, in the worst case, I’ll walk away from the product altogether.
That rarely happens. It’s simply not how capitalism works. Sales people are encouraged to sell things: to earn and retain custom.
Notice Poor Service, & Leverage It
When a phone contract or service contract is coming to an end, I normally receive a letter, informing me of a massive hike in price for the following term.
I suspect companies do this because they know that most people don’t have the time to research a better deal, or to call them ‘before the deadline’.
But, that’s where it starts.
When I speak to the company sales-person, I seek to complain about the ridiculous hike in prices. Capitalism may regard this behaviour as acceptable. But, on a human level, it’s not.
I’ll explain to the human on the other side of the phone, how unacceptable this behaviour is. This is a good example of ‘bad service’.
Further, if you send me a letter with demands, or containing small print -written in your favour, make sure the sales-person knows what you put in the letter.
If they don’t, I will challenge this unacceptable behaviour. Especially if we are talking about a cut off date for a cancellation fee.
Any other examples of poor service should be used to negotiate savings.
Because it’s an important measure of what you’re negotiating for.
Was the service as advertised? If not, why not? What can you expect in future? Why should you pay full price, for a sub-par service anyway?
Ask For A Better Deal
It really is the case that, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If I’m in a shop, and thinking about purchasing something that I don’t really need, I get into negotiation mode.
These are the best times to negotiate savings, because I can walk away if I fail.
No matter the shop, if the product is high in value, I’ll be looking for an opportunity to negotiate a better price.
This extends to any purchase. Even a house.
Getting Money Off
I recently purchased a pair of boots. Very nice leather boots at that.
On the day, the shop was having a sale. It was already 25% off the ticket price.
There was a scuff at the top of one boot. Nothing that affected the boot. It was purely aesthetic.
Boots are for walking in, and they will get scuffed, so I wasn’t too bothered -but, I wanted more money off.
I simply asked. The sales assistant asked me to wait while she spoke with the manager.
The manager offered a further 10% off the asking price.
So, for a pair of boots, which I would have purchased anyway, I got 35% off.
Let’s look at it from the managers point of view.
They want to get rid of the boots because the scuff makes it harder to sell.
Here they have a customer willing to purchase them, if only for a little discount.
It makes perfect sense for them to offer the discount. In fact, the only reason I can see why they wouldn’t, is because of a personal dislike of the customer (See rule 2).
Grab A Great Offer
Sometimes during negotiations, the sales-person may make an off-the-cuff offer. Maybe you’re about to walk away, when this last ditch offer is made.
It’s a price that effectively acts as a loss leader – a price offered on one product in the hope of retaining your custom over the longer term.
Well, if you really want the product, knowing when you have the best offer, is key. Because that’s the offer to take!
I recently negotiated a new phone contract. I was offered 50% off my monthly fee, reducing it to £2 per month.
When I heard 50%, I knew it was a great offer and immediately sought to close the deal and guarantee the discount.
How to negotiate savings
Negotiating is a fantastic tool because the sales-person isn’t really prepared for the odd conversation they’re about to have.
And more than likely, you’ll get a decent deal out of it.
I suspect the big companies don’t mind giving me a great deal, because they make a handsome profit from the majority who would never think of negotiating.
If I have a long term service relationship with a company, or I’m considering a one off purchase, I expect value for money. In the modern world, I have to negotiate to get that.
And, I will.
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