I found out fairly recently that I’m an excellent negotiator. I’ve always had a knack for being able to talk to customer service representatives over the phone and get a better deal, but until a month ago, I would never have tried it in person. I thought it would be downright rude to enter someone’s place of business – where they were offering me a service – and tell them that what they were giving me wasn’t worth as much as they thought. I considered it disrespectful and couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Or maybe I was making an excuse for not being able to man up and get what I really wanted.
A lot of times we make silly excuses to put off getting something accomplished. I used to complain internally about the rain and use it as an excuse to stay on the couch instead of running outside. There are always going to be reasons NOT to do something. What we have to do is find one really good reason to go out and just do it. Sometimes it comes down to tricking ourselves, but one way or another, we have to take control of our lives instead of letting it pass us by.
When I run, I often get tired and shorten my goal, telling myself that I’m too tired or there’s a really good reason why I have to get home earlier than planned. I should know by now that last night’s tv show can wait another 20 minutes, but I always psyc myself out and tell myself I should stop. In the end, what works for me is telling myself that if I can’t push the extra half mile, I’m a wuss and will have no self-respect. A little harsh but that usually does the trick.
In terms of negotiating, I told myself that I was living a lower quality of life because of my embarrassment and that negotiating face to face would ultimately make me a happier person. By taking a step and negotiating in the most unlikely places, I have been able to both save money and improve my quality of life. Going for it couldn’t have been a better choice.
What I did not realize, however, is how that one choice would affect my life in other ways. I now have more confidence to haggle in other venues, and that confidence has led to significant savings. I’ve even negotiated prices with eBay sellers by guaranteeing that if they’ll lower the buy-it-now price, I’ll buy it immediately and they’ll have the cash in their pocket in minutes.
I’m not sure which is greater, the money I save by overcoming my fears and pushing aside my excuses or the satisfaction and self-confidence I receive each time I’m able to save money on ordinary items.