Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free Business Negotiation Training...

For fun I like to visit used car dealerships. Before going I pick out a car online and research it. I learn what the average list price is, what trim levels are common, and anything about that car's model. Then I go to the dealership during a busy weekend.

I ask to be shown the car I picked. Sometimes I'll ask for a test drive if I think its a fun car to drive. I ask the dealer lots of questions. I learn how long the car has been on the lot, how often that model and trim level are in inventory, and anything that might devalue the car. Silence is my tool. Most salesmen are uncomfortable with silence and will tell me everything about the car if I wait quietly. Once I've observed, asked questions and learned as much as I can I sit down at the table to talk price.

Now the fun begins. It is time to haggle. Every dealership has a slightly different method. It really doesn’t matter what their particular method is because I will say no at the end of the exercise. Using what I learned during the test drive I point out flaws, other online listings, and anything that will lower the value of the car. Then offer something very low. I offer a price that they will say no to.

The next step will be up to the dealership and this is where I learn to haggle. Some dealerships will say no, then wait for me to insist before they counter offer. Others will counter offer right away, then I can say no again to see if they bid against themselves. It is great fun now that I've learned the confidence to sit quietly, wait and say no with confidence.

The hardest part for me was saying no. I’ve been trained by my parents and school to say yes to everything. Learning to say no is one of the most important negotiation skills. Saying no was a huge psychological barrier for me. My body becomes stressed, my face flushes and I become extremely uncomfortable. Learning to say and negotiate for my best interests has brought me success.

Car dealerships are free business schooling in negotiations.