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What is the fundamental tip for changing something in life?

June 26, 2020

Sunday June 21st I am sitting at a table facing a man behind a plexiglass screen listening to my daughter talk to him. I hear her say “this is more than I expected the cost to be and I need time to think about it.” Many of us have been in this situation, sans plexiglass screen. Her lease ends the last day of July, and she wanted to relocate for the next two months to be with family out of state. She wanted me present for support only as this was her deal.

She told me she wanted this to be over, didn’t want it to drag on and overlap her planned trip, and she was nervous about the increase in payment with the money down because she would need to move soon and took a cut in pay for her current job.

The options presented would be to turn in the car as is and be told by Honda corporate what costs there would be to fix the dents and scratches. The cost of those repairs was unknown for purposes of this deal. The alternative would be to take the new lease with some money down for about fifty dollars more a month.

Neither of these deals were great for her. She was wanting to accept the new lease so the process could be over, and she wouldn’t have to start looking elsewhere. She was leaning toward taking the deal to avoid conflict and because she didn’t feel any real control.

She told me she was not a negotiator. She didn’t want to get into a conflict with the salesman. What we discussed were the merits of each option, determining none were ideal for her and she was getting ready to accept a deal that wasn’t great for her situation. I let her know we don’t know if what was presented is the best offer she could get and we also couldn’t be certain, but it would be a good chance, if she took the night to think about the deal it would likely be available tomorrow. With that she signaled for the salesman to return.

To my surprise she told the salesman she is struggling with this decision. She laid out the details about the deal which were causing her hesitation. She didn’t threaten to walk out but spoke what was on her mind. He asked some additional questions to uncover possible discount opportunities and left to talk with his manager. You know the routine.

The salesman returned saying if she was open to lease a different car, she could have a lower payment. It turns out the other car was the next model up with more safety features which she liked. She liked the car and completed the sale that day. She left having a successful experience negotiating.

There are a couple of points I wish to make. First would be negotiations are conversations. Be clear what you want and do your best to understand what the other person wants. A solution can then be crafted that will work for both.

The second point is my daughter started the transition from “Not being a Negotiator” to becoming a Negotiator because she tried. This is true regardless of the outcome. She knows she spoke up for herself removing the opportunity to second guess later “what if I had only said how I felt” would that have made a difference? She now knows that it did in this case.

Again, if you want to change something about yourself you have to be willing to try and it doesn’t hurt to get some coaching.