October 14, 2010

Tip of the day—Don’t be afraid to hear “no”

I ask a lot of questions.  I always have.  It must have driven my parents crazy when I was young, but now my curiosity works well for me.  I’m not afraid to hear the words “no” when I ask questions because every once and a while I hear “yes”. 

“Do you accept competitors’ coupons?”

“Can you give me a bulk rate discount?”

“I want to order through your company, but I don’t want to pay shipping.  Is there a free shipping code you could give me?”

“Would you be willing to knock an extra 10% off of the price?”

“Will you match competitors’ prices?” 

Ask the question and then be silent.  Silence is an excellent negotiating tool because it tends to make people a little uncomfortable.  Don’t hem and haw over the details.  Ask a simple question.  If they say “no”, you can then follow up with another negotiation or question.  For example, my next question might be, “Then, can I speak with  your manager or the store owner to ask that person?”  Sometimes going a step above, to the person who actually has the power to make the decision, will prove helpful. 

Also, don’t be a jerk.  When you come across as haughty, rude, or Miss Smarty-Pants, you’ll be much less likely to get what you want.

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