Negotiation is the art of getting the best deal for you and the other party.Most people think of it in a limited number of restricted contexts like selling and buying houses or buying goods at a market OR in big corporate deals. People have self imposed rules on when and where it is OK to Negotiate.

In truth, negotiation is possible in almost every situation where two or more people have some something that the other wants. Here are some examples to get you started.

In a high street store

You might not think it possible but you can often negotiate a discount for cash. Now some stores won’t negotiate but many will if you ask. I was buying a Satellite Navigation system which was reduced in the sale at an office supplies superstore. I was interested but I didn’t show it. I hesitated and said “I might be interested If you could make it a little cheaper still.” The salesman paused for a second and said “I took another 10% off would that help you make up your mind?” I accepted and walked out of the store with a real bargain. Interestingly in that example I didn’t even have to agree to pay cash – I got a concession and was asked for nothing in return other than an immediate payment.

When you have a complaint.

Imagine you had booked a room in a hotel and when you arrived, you had been allocated a cramped and dingy basement room with no natural light. Rather than accepting it you could try and negotiate a better room. The key in this situation is to have a clear idea of what you would like BEFORE you go and talk to the desk clerk. I was in Denmark once and was given a poor room. I went to reception and explained that I was not happy with my room. I then said that since I was staying for five days, I expected a bigger room with a proper double bed and a better view of the city.
He apologised, went off to talk to the management and when he came back he offered me a much better room at no extra cost.

In a Restaurant.
You book a table at your favourite restaurant but when you arrive, the previous occupants of your table have not finished their meal yet. Don’t just meekly accept the “sorry but you’ll have to wait” response from the management. Negotiate, ” We’ll be happy to wait a few minutes providing we can have a complimentary drink from the bar whilst we wait.”

The lesson today is to challenge your boundaries. Remember that potentially everything is negotiable and that often all you need to ask!

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