I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day and had a chance to spend it, in person or in spirit, with your own mom. Although my own mom passed away many years ago, and I miss her terribly, she still influences my life today. I think back when she was alive and what a rich life she had, what I would categorize as a success. I don’t think it came easy but she was able to influence others to get what she wanted. For example, my mom was Catholic, a good Catholic, back in the day that meant having lots of children. She convinced my “2.5 kids and a car in the garage” dad to have seven of us. Lucky me I was number four. If you want success, you are going to have to know how to go about getting what you want. Today’s Rule for Success is about negotiating, influencing others, asking for what you want that will bring you closer to your definition of success.
Many see negotiating as uncomfortable at best, something to be disdained at worst. We typically associate negotiating with sales involving big ticket items like homes and cars. The truth is you probably already negotiate with your boss and/or coworkers for time off, your professor/teacher for a better grade, your children to do their chores, with your spouse as to how you’re going to spend that refund check, or perhaps with that nice police officer who just stopped you for speeding. The bottom line is, there will come a time when you are going to need to negotiate for a car, a house, a new job offer, assignment, promotion, or pay raise. You don’t want to be nervous, unsure of yourself, or learning the ropes on a $30,000 car, six figure income, or an even more costly home. Practice instead on the small items. Start easy and go to a yard sale – or have your own.
When I travel I always negotiate for a free upgrade, additional services, or to have a fee waived, maybe even a free bottle of wine/meal, satellite radio or a tank of gas. Sometimes I don’t get it, many times I do. When your phone, cable or internet contract comes due, negotiate for a better rate (hint: if the first person you speak to can’t/won’t help, ask to speak with someone from the cancellation/retention department). Every year or two, I negotiate my banking and credit card fees. Buying new furniture, mattress, etc.? Ask for a free set of sheets, or free delivery.
With this said, this rule is about negotiating, not about how cheap you can be. It’s not about saving a few dollars; it’s the ability to influence others ethically to get what you want. It’s not about manipulation, which would lack character. It’s about influence – with character.
I bet you didn’t realize there are scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. That’s right, there’s a science to it and the good news is it’s easy to learn. Stick with me over the next several postings because you’ll learn a little of the science and as a result – have greater success for it.
Be Extraordinary! When you’re not being extraordinary, be awesome instead.
Founder & CEO
Leader Development Institute
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