Many years ago, when I wore a business suit each day, I would wait until my favorite neighborhood haberdashery was having their seasonal sale. Often I would buy two or more suits. The salesman showed me a pair of shoes that he thought would be a great accessory and mentioned that he would reduce them by 20, which I thought was dollars, but was actually percent, making them an even better bargain. From that moment on, I realized that nearly all retail prices could be negotiated.
In my eyes, a negotiation is successful if it results in my paying out fewer dollars or in my receiving more of a product at a higher level. In many instances, receiving an upgrade is just as good, if not better, than saving a few bucks.
Many of the services that I use in my business are done by subscription. The planning program that I use requires a one-year term and has optional features that may be tacked on to the base product. I tried the program for 30 days and, while I was pleased, I was not sure that if at the time I wanted to commit to it. I spoke with the sales rep and he offered to add an optional feature, for free, to my base product. While the company was very rigid in maintaining the cost of the basic program they showed flexibility in the overall package,
If you do not have health insurance you may be able to negotiate a lower cost from your doctor. That is one instance where stated price appears to be just for show. After all, the reality is that doctors do not receive a 100% reimbursement from the insurance companies. If they are able to help a patient out they often do and all you need to do is ask.
We all have read that it is important to do some homework and preparation when you are looking to negotiate, especially big-ticket items such as a car. Well, the same can be said for rent. When I was looking for a new office, I narrowed my search down to two properties, each owned by different people. They were very similar and I was able to negotiate two free months with my rent and only had to sign a 12-month lease that was a huge savings, 16.66%.
The key to negotiating a reduced price is understanding what the market will bear, being respectful and not having a take it or leave it mentality. That approach worked when I was selling a house and asked the realtor to accept a 4% commission instead of the customary 6%. It did not work when I tried it with a computer consultant in 1999, but that was no doubt due to the demands of the Y2K scare. Today, I would not hesitate to ask a computer consultant for a reduction.
Do I give reductions in my service fees? You will never know unless you ask!