You may have heard the expression, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. My kids sure have. It could save you a lot of money.
Having the Right Mindset
I believe that simple phrase is the basis of a sound money mindset. The idea is that everything is negotiable. Of course, not everything is. But it is the mindset that is important.
If you enter every transaction with the idea that you may get a better deal just by asking for it – sometimes you get a better deal.
I have saved money on home repairs, clothing, credit cards, and reduced debt just by asking for a better deal. Sometimes it is as easy as just asking. More often, it takes a little bit of strategy.
Start by Asking for a Deal
Negotiating is a sale. The close in a sale is where you ask the buyer to buy. “Would you like that in blue?” “What do I have to do to put you in this car today?” “I think your family deserves this, don’t you?” These are all old sales closing lines.
If you are going to ask for a deal on a product or service, you have to have a closing line. It might be as simple as, “Can you do any better than that price?” or “What kind of deal can you make me?”
Setting Up Your Close
Sometimes it pays to make a declaration setting up your close.
I used to travel a lot on business. I never booked a hotel in advance. At the end of the day, I would walk into a hotel and ask for a rate.
“I’m shopping hotel to hotel for the best rate I can get,” I would tell the desk clerk. “I’ve got a couple of good quotes, but I’m looking for something better. What can you do for me?”
Sometimes I got the rate I was looking for. Sometimes I had to haggle. But, I almost always found a place to sleep below the advertised rate.
Closing a Car Deal
Years ago I was in Atlanta. I had rented a car from an independent agency. The owner and I got into a conversation and he revealed he once owned a car dealership. I asked him how to get the best deal when buying a car.
He told me: “When the salesperson approaches you, say, ‘I don’t know where it’s going to be, but I am going to buy a car today.”
The former dealer explained that, by using that statement, you are telling the salesperson he/she has a sale. After that, it is up to them not to lose it. That gives you leverage to get the price you want.
I use that line every time I buy a vehicle. Only once did a salesperson let me get away, but I ended up getting a better deal on a better car from a better salesperson.
Ask To Talk to a Manager
It may take channeling your inner Karen, but appealing a “no” decision to a higher authority can work.
When you ask for a supervisor, do it politely. Use please and thank you.
When you get to the manager, tell them what makes you a valued customer.
- You have been a loyal customer for so many years.
- All your ____ are bought from them.
- Their products/services are the best, etc.
Then let them know what you want and ask if they can help.
Learn To Take “No” for an answer
The old cliche in sales and negotiations is to “never take no for an answer.” That may be good advice for some professional salespeople. I do not think it helps most of us.
A relentless back and forth can be exhausting and frustrating. If you get to that point, you are probably not going to make the best decisions. It is better to ask for a supervisor, accept the terms offered, or walk away and look for a deal somewhere else.
Even if you do not get what you want all of the time, you are bound to succeed some of the time. Just remember, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Max K. Erkiletian began writing for newspapers while still in high school. He went on to become an award-winning journalist and co-founder of the print magazine Free Bird.
He has written for a wide range of regional and national publications as well as many on-line publications. That has afforded him the opportunity to interview a variety of prominent figures from former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank Paul Volker to Blues musicians Muddy Waters and B. B. King.
Max lives in Springfield, MO with his wife Karen and their two cats. He spends as much time as possible with his kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Beau W. says
I like your article.. Its. Often overlooked that the best way to get a discount is toi just ask. . worked for me a few times. If they say no its no big deal.