2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Effective Negotiation Tips: Leveling the Playing Field

Interested in saving money?  Who isn’t!  Last week we discussed the proper negotiation mindset (see Blog dated Dec 6th) and this week we delve into practical strategies to apply.

So how do you get the best cost or price?  It’s simple.  It’s done by applying strategies that level the playing field.negotiation

Recall, retailers/salespeople are doing their ‘selling’ every day and you are NOT their first customer!  Consumers enter the market less frequently for big purchases i.e. a car, house, mattress (once every decade maybe?!).  So, read the below strategies to level the field.

  1. Be confident and knowledgeable.  Be prepared and armed with an understanding of  ‘The Market’ – it is the easiest low hanging fruit.  Research is available online, magazines, etc.  Consumer testimonials are essential.  Know what you want and do your homework before purchasing.  Isolate your options so you spend time efficiently.
  2. Concepts around timing –
    1. Investment in time – The more the salesperson has invested time in you, the less time they have spent on other customers.  You are affecting their commission.  When the right amount of time is invested, a few hundred bucks off (a big deal for you), means little to them to ‘get the sale.’
    2. End of month – depending on what product is being negotiated, ie cars – sales people must make monthly quotas.  Use this to your advantage and go at end of month.
    3. Time of day!  Let’s continue with the car example –go on a Saturday – Do you go in the morning or at end of day to close the deal?  The answer: At the end of the day of course!  They want to go home and want to conclude the sales and you can negotiate effectively.
    4. Seasonality – never buy your winter jacket, snowmobile or skis in the winter.  Purchase in summer.  Buy your boat or convertible! etc in the winter – there are always better deals as they flush through inventory.
  3. Threaten to leave!  Call up your telephone or Internet provider and threaten to go and they will send you to their loyalty group.  If you have done ‘a’ above, they will reduce your bill by 25% or more!

But like anything, it takes an effort to save $.    Level the playing field as best you can.


Category Management: Effective Negotiating

Perhaps you are a novice to negotiating.  Perhaps you don’t like confrontation or asking for ‘things’.  fear2But many hurdles to effective negotiating are only mental barriers, such as fear and fear is just a mindset. 

I’ll repeat that – FEAR is just a mental barrier to effective negotiating and can be overcome. 

I have blogged on topics like negotiation before and received several responses and questions regarding different tactics and proper mindset.  This is a two-part blog; this week we delve deeper into effectively overcoming simple mental barriers while the second blog will discuss some sensible strategies to employ and get the best value.

Step 1.  Adjusting your mindset (overcoming the fear).

Some people fear negotiating as much as giving speeches.  People fear rejection and /or the confrontation.images

Perhaps you are a novice to negotiating.  Or perhaps you don’t like confrontation.  But fear is just a mindset.  Visualize that you just engaging yourself in a harmless conversation with a complete stranger (that’s right – a stranger!).  You don’t know him/her, and they don’t know you from Adam.

Step 2.  The worst case scenario: prepare yourself for it!

Here it is!  The answer: no! 

Let’s put negotiating into context here folks.  The worst that can happen is they say ‘No’. 

No!  There I said it again.  Ok, I jest, but was that so bad?   A complete stranger says “no” to us and we can walk away.  That’s the only risk and the worst case scenario.  Don’t be afraid of rejection.  Your pride might be pinched, but that is ego.  And ego has no place at the negotiating table.

Step 3.  Practice. Practice. Practice.

The classic cliché, but still an effective one.  During the process of adjusting your mindset, start to haggle over some small stuff regularly.  Goods that are not urgent or pressing to you

You don’t go straight into important negotiation with something you really really want.  The less you want it, the better you will negotiate.  Trust me.  Why?  Because your mindset is relaxed and prepared to walk away.   Its No Deal. 

And having a relaxed mind and knowing you can walk away,  is one of the keys to effective negotiating.

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