This Just Ask! Negotiations experiment is becoming quite a learning experience. Basically I’m challenging myself to “just ask” for discounts and deals whenever possible. This is not as easy as it sounds because it’s not really in my nature to ask. If I’m expecting negotiations, in the case of car purchases for example, I am prepared and eager to go. However, if an unexpected opportunity comes up, I usually let it go. I probably should carry around a big “Just Ask” post-it note with me at all times.
This recent success taught me that it’s okay to ask more than once, even if you already got a discount. Normally I’m so happy to get one discount that it never occurs to me to ask again. That would be pushing my luck, right? However, situations can change and therein lies the opportunity.
Recently, a medical clinic caused me a minor inconvenience. It was minor in the grand scheme of things but at that moment, it seemed like a big roadblock. The doctor had already offered me a 20% discount on the procedure plus an additional $300 off. At the urging of a good friend, an expert bargain hunter herself, I sent off an email expressing my frustration and asked that they “do something” to compensate me. I truly did not know what to expect, hence my wishy-washy request. At most I expected them to increase the discount. Instead, they offered to give me a full refund — a $1,200 savings!
A similar thing happened to my husband, too. In his case, he had a serious complaint about an unscrupulous web-hosting company. After several emails back-and-forth, he won. Many would have given up but he was fighting back on principle and to save us some money. I’m very proud of him.
So I’m learning that it’s okay to ask more than once, hesitation is a great negotiating tool, , and negotiating opportunities are everywhere.
An Aside: Some people may wonder why I lump negotations under the Simple Living category. The art of negotiations is definitely not so simple and, as I’m learning, there is always room for improvement. However, without solid negotiating skills, you’re going to lose out financially in many situations whether it’s the cable company, auto repair or home buying. Those are big money leaks that could compromise your ability to enjoy a simpler, better life.