A Monthly Inspirational Viewpoint of Life’s Journeys with Sonia Wignall
I cannot recall at what age I learned to negotiate. However, it started, and now a part of my buying process that I cannot and do not want to lay down.
I might have learned this skill from my dad who was a great negotiator, or maybe from years of buying wholesale and selling retail, another skill that also came from my dad.
The art and power of negotiation is a useful tool in the budget arsenal. Why pay $100 for a service or product that you can buy for 20, 30, 60, and sometimes more on the dollar. You can then invest the savings or buy another much needed item.
A friend of mine got a very sizable legal settlement. In sharing her story from rags to riches, she told me about one particular purchase of furniture for $3000.
The furniture was bought at a scratch and dent high end closeout store. Granted what she bought for $3,000 might have been at one time a $5,000 or maybe even $10,000 piece of furniture. However, it no longer is, and with cash in hand she could have negotiated smarter and saved quite a bit in the process.
My desire to find deals, and negotiate price stretches to every dollar spent on anything that can be negotiated. If I am shopping for clothes, I beeline to the sales rack. I am also an avid ‘thrifter’, where I have found enormous deals on beautiful items, for pennies on the dollar.
I shudder to think that some people find negotiating either beneath them, shameful or unnecessary. They are willing to pay the tag price, or the asking price, without flinching. Some people believe that shopping deals and negotiating price is a sign of poverty, or having a scarcity mentality. I beg to differ. The great Martha Steward shops and furnishes her “homes” with garage, and thrift store finds. Many books on money and wealth teaches the art of deal making, negotiation and saving.
Just because the money is available does not mean it all has to be spent. In other words, why overpay if you do not have to?
In business we can negotiate every part of the supply chain process, raw materials, production and delivery. We can also negotiate quality, production, time and other value-added items. An employee can negotiate work contract details and compensation, adding special notes for increases, vacation, days o, bonus structure, title and the exit strategy.
As parents we can negotiate with our children, our leverage is the car, our money, time, toys, electronics, entertainment, clothes, or anything else we have authority over.
The art and practice of negotiation is a powerful tool when practiced and used well. Trillions of dollars have been made on negotiations and many business and other deals will move forward or shut down around negotiation.
Anyone can negotiate, and most things are negotiable. You can learn to negotiate by being bold, courageous and having clear “non-negotiables”. The art of negotiation requires us to be bold, courageous and intentional. Keeping your eye on the end game, and of course walking away when the deal is no longer favorable.
A good negotiator looks for a win-win and is mindful to meet their own needs as well as that of the other person. Taking advantage of someone else is not mindful. Negotiating or asking for what you want is in fact, very mindful and powerful. The worst scenario will be a “no”. The best scenario is you just saved money on a great buy.
As the Bible says, “You have not, because you ask not” – James 4: 2-3
So, what are you waiting for, go ask, go negotiate, go be the “rainmaker”.
By: Sonia M. Wignall
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