The local newspaper just made it onto my list of successfully negotiated compromises. A subscription renewal reminder came in the mail, along with a 30% rate increase. I promptly emailed their customer service department and instructed them “Please do not renew my subscription when it expires.” (You must submit a cancellation request, or they will continue to deliver the paper, citing no cancellation instructions from you, and then the circulation department expects you to pay for the papers they deliver.) I simply stated that the cost of subscribing had risen beyond my comfort level.
Within an hour, I had a reply email offering the same subscription package at the previous period’s promotional price, a full $21 less than the amount on the renewal invoice they sent. I happily accepted their offer.
Just remember these simple criteria: Say “Please” when you ask for help, and “Thank You” when the other person makes an effort to accommodate your request. It also helps to give a reason for asking. (“I can’t afford it” is almost guaranteed to get you a seat at the negotiating table) Last, be willing to compromise; it’s good negotiating when both sides walk away with at least a partial win. Always enter into negotiations knowing what you’re willing to leave with (or without).
A non-profit client was the recent beneficiary of a significant discount on an advertisement, acquired simply by asking for it. Please and Thank You really can be magic words!