Best Negotiating Story Ever – Leads to More Money

By in Make Money, Saving, Tips, Wealth | 13 comments

Brian, the guy who cuts our grass began his conversation with me, “You look lovely today Ms. Friedberg.”

Best negotiating story leads to more money.

1. Great move to start with a compliment

Upon inquiring about Brian’s well being, he mentioned that he’s not doing too well due to his case of poison ivy.

2. Garner sympathy

He went on to comment about the two big brown patches in our yard where some trees were recently removed. Genially, he offered, “I have everything in my truck today to reseed the bare areas. I’m looking to offer you more services and help keep your lawn beautiful.”

3. Ask for what you want

How could I say no?

I was in a great mood, due to his initial compliment. Then, I empathized with Brian about his poison ivy. He set me up to say yes. When you are in a good mood, you tend to say “yes.” Needless to say, I agreed to the additional services. Brian made some extra cash that day, and I got some work completed I probably could have done myself for half the cost. Nevertheless, I was happy and so was Brian.

4. Deliver outstanding service

Fulfill a need and deliver more than you promise. Brian, saved me time and addressed my displeasure with the brown spots in my yard. He was ready to solve the problem immediately and did a rapid and excellent job. He promised and over-delivered.

Good Negotiating Skills Leads to a Better Job, More Money and Greater Buying Power

I don’t think Brian went through this conversation off the top of his head. Brian had superior sales techniques, honed and practiced. He may have said to himself, I’m going to upsell every customer I see today and increase as many extra services as possible. Step-by-step, he had a plan to help me and sell more of his services. Simple is better than complicated. The whole conversation was short, but he gave me what I needed and boosted his revenue for the day. 

Brian’s skills are transferable. In other words, they don’t just work for lawn care professionals. Good negotiating skills can lead to better deals, a higher salary and more clients for the entrepreneur. Consider this, if you cut down the price on big ticket items – your home, car, mattress and home repairs – then you’ve freed up more cash to be diverted towards investing and wealth-building. I’ve even negotiated a lower price on a down comforter at Kohl’s. In fact, over the years, I’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars by negotiating. 

If you’re not accustomed to haggling, negotiating can be scary. Yet, with skill and practice, you may be able to significantly boost your wealth. Notice Brian’s technique. There was nothing tricky there. He went through a genuine, authentic pitch. He knew what he could offer. He understood my need. Ultimately, he gave me what I wanted, and I was happy to pay. 

Negotiating is a skill set and an attitude. First, develop the skills. Start small and practice at a flea market. Offer less than the ask, and explain why the seller wins if she takes your offer. Second, have the attitude, that as a buyer, you deserve to get the best deal and the most for your money. Or, as a seller, you have the right to command a high price for your services, because you offer quality. Don’t just ask for more money, but solve your client’s problem.

I doubt whether Brian sold extra services to every customer he saw that day, but if he succeeded up-selling 50% of the time, he may have added several hundred dollars to his total that day. Multiply that amount by 20 working days in a month, and he could double his monthly income with his negotiating tactics!

Be a Negotiating Success

Have a success plan every day; make it specific, and detailed. Align it with your goals.

There are opportunities to increase your income in every situation. By being a stellar employee and making money for your employer, you set yourself up for a raise. You don’t need to succeed 100% of the time to benefit. 

Bonus; How to Get a Big Raise Without the Briefcase Technique>>>

Work for yourself? Set a big goal. Give yourself something great to reach for.

Improve your services, you will create additional income through excellent performance, and self-marketing. 

Click here for more negotiating help and to read the classic, “Getting to Yes”

A version of this article was previously published.

What commitment can you make to increase your income?

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  1. This year, my goal is increasing traffic and income. So far so good!


    January 30, 2012

  2. My parents were both salesmen and the best advice they ever gave me was “start with the close in mind.” It’s nice to see someone who had the end in mind, closed the sale, and both people walked away happy.

    Andi @ MealPlanRescue

    January 30, 2012

  3. @Andi-As the famous movie-Glen Gary Glen Ross stated, “Always be closing.” It’s so important, if you are selling a product, service, or yourself.


    January 30, 2012

  4. Great article..I love it when you can step back and learn from real life examples. The ‘say something nice’ trick is one that always works, but it has to be sincere, or at least sound like it. Another thing I’d like to mention is that selling a product or service to someone who actually needs it (which is what Brian did in this story) helps quite a bit. It’s important to know your audience and their needs.


    January 30, 2012

  5. Make trading a priority everyday. It’s simple? Sure… but it takes time and sometimes the days get busy. yet 10 minutes a night can make a world of financial difference. That’s my aim!

    Doctor Stock

    January 30, 2012

  6. Now there’s a young man that’s going to go places. He could sell yard services, or insurance, or multi-million-dollar condo developments. It’s all about building rapport and relationships.

    101 Centavos

    January 31, 2012

  7. Wonderful post today Barb! 🙂 No this is not Brian. Terrific takeaways from an everyday conversation and transaction. He’s going places, but so are you for picking up on it. Besides your points, one needs to be aware and recognize great takeaways and apply them!

    Buck Inspire

    January 31, 2012

  8. The best salesmen don’t appear to be trying to sell you. When someone does a good job it’s definitely harder to reject them. Great advice.

    My plan to increase income is my blog.

    John | Married (with Debt)

    January 31, 2012

  9. Clever Brian! He used a typical sales technique and it worked! I too have found it hard to say no when someone is being so nice to me. I feel like such a punk for recognizing what they’re doing and remaining firm and refusing what they offer. It is difficult however and I’ve developed a way of being just as nice back and offering my reasoning for the rejection.

    I also kill them with kindness 🙂


    January 31, 2012

  10. Now I am wondering where I can use this in my life to score a few extra bucks somewhere.


    January 31, 2012

  11. @Azra-Brian was so smart in making it so easy to patch up my bare yard spots. We both ere happy in the end!
    @101-I’ve since moved, so I don’t know what happened to Brian, but I hope he used his personal skills to bring him great success.
    @Buck-So true, there are lessons everywhere. I relish the opportunities to benefit from them.
    @John-Even though I could have done the work myself, he made it so easy.
    @Taline-Me too. If someone is really pleasant, it makes it that much more difficult to say no. But you can’t say yes to everyone either!
    @Eric, Good luck with that 🙂


    January 31, 2012

  12. This is also good advice for somebody in a customer service role, or just somebody who deals with customers in public. Although not direct, customer service IS sales.

    I find myself unintentionally using these techniques as a trucker when I deal with customers. It’s amazing how somebody’s mood can change when you compliment them or just say something nice.


    February 1, 2012

  13. @Matt-It becomes a habit when you choose to attend to the attributes of others. And many times it pays dividends in unpredictable ways.


    February 1, 2012

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