Brian, the guy who cuts our grass began his conversation with me, “You look lovely today Ms. Friedberg.”
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.
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.
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A version of this article was previously published.
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