My grandfather loved to haggle. To negotiate. To find a bargain. To get a deal. Haggling is somewhat of a lost art these days but I think we need to get back in the habit. Real men can carry their weight in any good negotiation and they do it with class, purpose, charm, and style.
Unfortunately, in this day and age of social media and less face to face contact, most people are scared of the process or they think it is confrontational. I say – bring it on! It doesn’t have to be rude or unacceptable. Just have some good, common, everyday courtesy and have at it.
If you accept and embrace the art, you can become much better at getting what you want from life and feeling more fulfilled. If you reject it, your other choice is to take what life gives you and hope that it matches what you want. I learned from my G-pa long ago that the first option comes with much better odds – and a much better outcome!
To become a better negotiator, and a better haggler, you need to first get past these five “myths and falsehoods” about the process.
IT IS TOO ARGUMENTATIVE
Nope – only if you’re doing it wrong! Effective haggling doesn’t look or feel anything like an argument, and there’s little or no friction involved. In fact, done right, it feels like an everyday conversation that you’d have with a friend. Good haggling actually builds respect between two people rather than diminishes it.
IT IS ONLY FOR POOR PEOPLE AND CHEAPSKATES
Ask any wealthy person if they got where they are by taking every deal that came their way at face value. Of course they didn’t! They knew exactly what they wanted and decided how much they were willing to give up to get it. Billionaire CEOs haggle with each other every day over multi-million dollar deals. You only look like a cheapskate when you become petty, not when you work hard to get a great deal on something that’s important to you.
IT IS INAPPROPRIATE
Yes, arguing over the price of a Coke at Mickey D’s is inappropriate and it definitely makes you look like a cheapskate, but sincerely asking for consideration when you’re pursuing something valuable is never inappropriate and no one thinks less of you for doing it.
IT ISN’T WORTH THE TIME OR SAVINGS
A good negotiation definitely takes time to complete, but it’s almost always worth the outcome. Some of my most successful haggles have resulted in as much as 50% savings on big-ticket items. I don’t bother to negotiate on anything unless I think I can save at least 20% on a purchase or get at least 20% more for my work.
I DON’T HAVE THE AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY IT TAKES TO HAGGLE
Good haggling is simply an exchange between two people trying to find a win – win deal. You do not need to be aggressive to do it effectively. In fact, if you’re the domineering type, that will often work against you more than it will work for you. Remember the phrase “kill ’em with kindness.”
Start with these steps and you will be well on your way to mastering the “Art of the Haggle!”