The other day, I wrote about the fear people have in asking for a price increase (when they're the seller), or a price decrease (when they're the buyer). I wrote about the psychology involved in simply asking for what you want. To highlight that point, I deliver the following story.
A friend and I were having breakfast, at a diner and she told me of a negotiation experience she recently had. She saw a pair of shoes that she liked at Lord & Taylor (a very high-end upscale department chain). The shoes were marked at $79. As the result of prior conversations she and I had about negotiations, she thought shed ask the Lord & Taylor associate if he would reduce the price. She informed him that she had seen the exact pair of shoes, at another establishment, for $59. He told her in a stern manner that he could not reduce the price. So, she politely asked if she might speak to the manager. She made her request for a price reduction to the manager, of the department and told him she had seen the exact pair of shoes at a lower price. To make a long story short, in the end, she got the shoes for $59.
What lessons can we learn from this experience? First, she was not afraid to ask for a price reduction, even though she was doing so in a very high-end upscale store; most people would thank such an establishment would never reduce their price, or most people would be too embarrassed to make such a request. Second, even after she was told the price could not be reduced, she took her request to a higher authority. In the end, she got what she wanted, because she just asked for it. The moral of the story is, when you're negotiating, don't be afraid, just ask.