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May 26, 2010

Breaking Down Obstacles

Hello Good Negotiators

Good deals don't fall into our laps. We have to seek them out.

We can't let artificial barriers stand in our way.

I made an on-line purchase today and got a good (let's call it a 'better')deal just by ignoring an obstacle that I fear would stop most consumers.

Negotiating Tip: Breaking Down Obstacles

I was in need of a device to augment some of my video equipment and found the exact item I wanted from an online vendor.

I've never purchased anything like this before and frankly had no clue as to whether the price quoted was high, low or right.

As I clicked on the item and proceeded to 'check out' I noticed a little box next to the price quote that was labeled "Promo Code."

Now, who doesn't know what that refers to? It's a clear indicator that with that code I'd likely get a better price.

But I didn't have the code. Most consumers wouldn't either. Most would march on through checkout and buy the item at list price.

Undeterred, I navigated back to the company's homepage, found a toll free number and gave them a call.

My objective? - To get a better deal via the "Promo Code."

My thinking? - They must give this code to someone.

My rationale? - If they'd make a profit selling items at their discounted "Promo Code" price, they'd be happy to make that same money from me.

The reality? - Most people would think the task of trying to get the "Promo Code" to be too much trouble and embarrassing to seek.

Here's what happened.

I called the company, asked about the item I wanted to purchase. I asked if the price quoted online was correct. It seemed unreasonably high.

"Is that price correct?" (Phone Flinch) The lady responded that the price was indeed correct.

I said, "I was afraid of that. That price was more than I had budgeted." (Bracket)

Silence from the lady. I continued, "Is that the best you can do?" (Crunch) "It is," she replied.

"That's a shame. I buy a lot of equipment. I will have to see if I can find this item somewhere else. Who else sells these?"

(Competition and even asking her to identify the competition for me!)

Again, silence (or at least hesitation). I chimed in quickly, "Hey, I see a "Promo Code" box at your check out page, could I use that to secure a better price? I'd place the order today if you'd give me the courtesy of that code." (Ask nicely, and you never get anything you don't ask for.)

She replied that the "Promo Code" is for their large volume customers and special advertised promotions, but she didn't see any harm in making an exception for me.

She provided the code, and a 25% discount was immediately made available. A classic Win-Win.

I bought what I needed at a discounted price.

The vendor sold an item, won a customer and made a profit.

Good negotiators invest the extra effort to break down minor obstacles stand in the way of a good deal.

KEEP Negotiating.

Licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker for over 35 years, John Hamilton is an author, national speaker, and educator who specializes in the art of negotiation. His most popular workshop is, “Negotiating: What’s Mine Is Mine, What’s Yours Is Negotiable” John was the 2002 President of the International Real Estate Educators Association and conducts over 125 seminars annually to business, banking, auctioneer, manufacturer representatives and real estate Boards/Associations. John's book KEEP Negotiating has become a desktop favorite for active real estate agents everywhere For past 15 years he has presented training program nationwide on sales, negotiating and motivational topics. Visit for a free report entitled the Top 12 Mistakes Negotiators Make. www.GoodNegotiator.com

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