you can’t haggle with authenticity: idealism + negotiating
One of my most pleasant, in fact, euphoric, car-buying experiences was at a dealership in Virginia. They had a “no haggle” policy.
“So let me get this straight,” I said, leaning against the shiny Jetta. “THIS sticker price is THE price?”
“Uh huh,” said Mr. Sales Guy.
“Can you throw in new tires?” I pressed.
“Nope, this is the price.”
“You gonna hit me with some hidden costs?” I prodded.
“Nope, this is the price.”
“Do you think I can get it it cheaper at the lot down the road?” I asked, eyebrow raised.
“Maybe, but probably not by much.” he shrugged.
“I’ll take it!”
And that was that. What suh-weet relief! The weekend before I was at a dealership where they did the “Just let me go talk to my manager,” good cop/bad cop BS, and tried to keep me on the lot for as long as possible. I guess they thought I was substantially dumber than I looked, because they treated me like was a moron – not the kind of guys I want to give my money to.
A “DEAL” ISN’T THE SAME AS VALUE, SUCKAH
You’ll never buy something from me that costs $495, because I know that you know that $495 is really $500. Yes, statistically speaking, the masses are suckers for the .95 cent price differentiator, but I’m not interested in the masses, I’m interested in the individuals that make up the masses. Clean price points are so much more elegant and honest and space-economical. Statistics be damned.
SINCERITY IS EFFICIENT
Flexibility is strength. Ultimately, the wear ‘em down and round it down sham is just that – a sham. It’s a lot of bullshit bravado that wastes precious time. This logic drives me nuts: Ask for $12,500 and go as low as $10,000. I get the “make everyone feel like they’ve won,” concept, but how about the “let everyone know that you’re honest, fair, and smart enough to know the value of what you’re selling” concept? If you’ll settle for $10,000 then ask for $10,000 firm and you won’t even need to throw in your best poker face. I know my shoot-straight idealism wouldn’t last a minute at a street market in Mumbai, but it could work for most other interactions.
Sometimes negotiating is a necessity and a truly co-creative process. But too often we mindlessly buy into the the game playing. The game plays us as it seeps into our human interactions. The second guessing, the positioning, embellishment, the cleverness. Cleverness is an energy suck. Your value isn’t an “O.B.O” proposition. And you get what you ask for…so be honest about it.
Imagine the thrill of straight up requests and haggle free sales. Imagine believing what you see and meaning what you say. With all that hassle-time freed up, we’d have time to really get down to business.