My wife and I have decided to move. More on that in a future post, but for now I want to tell you how I negotiated at a rate of $5,400 per hour last week.
One of the items in our long list of to-dos is setting up the internet in our new place. So I spent some time researching the different internet service providers in the area and found the best deal to be $35 per month. The only problem? It would lock us into a 2-year contract AND the rate would double in the 2nd year. NOT appealing.
But if I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that businesses want one thing: your business.
And that means that the published rate is almost never set in stone.
Enter my (simple) secret weapon
So I called the company, got a guy on the phone and asked him what he could offer me with no contract. He came back with an offer of $50 per month, for the same speed as what was advertised online for $35 per month. The increased price was because we could cancel at any time.
That seemed reasonable, but I wasn’t going to let him get off so easy. So I asked a simple question:
“I see the online offer for $35 per month. I know that includes a 2-year contract, but what can you do to help me get closer to that price without the contract?”
The guy went about typing some things into his computer, and guess what he came up with? That same $35 per month offer, with no 2-year contract. We could cancel at any time without penalty.
Between me asking the question and him looking up the information and explaining the offer, the entire exchange took about 2 minutes. And it saved me $180 over the course of our year-long lease.
Which comes to a rate of $5,400 per hour of work.
Negotiation is ALWAYS an option
Asking that question was SO easy. It literally took me 10 seconds to ask and the worst thing that could have possibly happened was the guy saying he couldn’t offer a lower price.
And this kind of thing works ALL THE TIME.
In just the last few months alone I’ve saved myself about $1,300 in business expenses simply by telling a vendor that I was considering someone else. That was enough to make them immediately offer a lower price.
When we recently bought a car, we saved ourselves thousands of dollars by getting creative with our negotiation tactics.
It almost never takes much time. And the worst case scenario is always a simple no. The best case is a huge amount of savings.
So the real question is: why wouldn’t you negotiate?