Welcome to 2010. Does this seem early? Well, you better get on board. The old days are gone and they’re not coming back.
You could almost hear when the band stopped playing, right?
As we open the new era, it looks as if the U.S. is settling into a major reset in terms of income and spending. While some continue to spend, most have pulled back and savings has surged as people deal with fear of not knowing the future.
Of course, we’ve never known the future. If we did, we would probably mess it up. However, we can develop a strategy to improve our personal financial performance in the rough economic weather.
As the reset continues to develop (some would call this “trickle down”), a new era of “the consumer” should sweep the nation. While downward pressure is applied to income, consumers are going to have to reset their thinking about negotiation. In fact, you are going to have to become much more skilled at negotiation. Gone are the days when you could say, “I am embarrassed to negotiate.” Gone are the days when it was okay to “let price slide.”
What Is True Negotiation All About?
These days it should be all about research (in advance), pricing set up before you go (if possible) and the #1 tool in the woodshed for consumers: Be prepared to walk away.
Think of it this way. Any product you desire – a home, a car, a blender, a phone, a television (and the list goes on) – can now be purchased by you at a wider variety of retailers than ever before, on-line and in a variety of second-hand or used environments (not to mention E-Bay and Craigs list). So, if you don’t buy X at X Superstore, you can get it at Y Superstore or on-line (and often for a better price).
When you negotiate you need to play along, have patience and knowledge on your side. Don’t allow a salesperson to “frame the issue.” Get ahead of them and use the knowledge you have about them (their stock, their quotas, their competition) to put downward pressure on them. Consider that you likely only have to purchase one (1) or one (1) TV, but they have to sell hundreds or more. Each month comes with a quota. They have goals.
When you save money with negotiation, make sure you take the money saved and shift it from checking to savings. If you don’t do this, you have saved NOTHING.
2010 (and you might as well start now) is your year to make ’em earn it. Negotiate on EVERYTHING!
Negotiation is not only for things you purchase. Are you up for a great job? Don’t think only in terms of standard compensation. Sometimes businesses can pay a cell phone bill or put you up in an apartment for thirty (30) days (or six months). Think about other options Vs. cash or standard compensation. Maybe you can gain access in negotiation before you accept the job to an additional week of paid vacation per year.
The main thing is this: Start thinking about how you can harness value out of everyday interactions. Don’t settle. Don’t accept no as the (only) answer.
Look for ways to give people what they want in return for a real deal for yourself. Experiment with negotiation. But always be willing to walk away.
The world has gotten tough for the 2010 model. You get tough right back.
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