“Are there any sales or discounts going on?” “Yeah… I can see about giving you ten dollars off.” If “The Story” is essentially analogous to the real world, and John [leftmost] and Trishna [left] are attempting their best to navigate the world without getting screwed over, how would they – and we – go about it? John learned half of an effective strategy for negotiation implied in the quote above and Trishna learned the other half. Together?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building)
Together, it’s Polite Decisiveness.
In negotiation, you need leverage to succeed. If it’s service on your vehicle, the leverage starts with you choosing their business over another. The natural inclination is to be as decisive or difficult as possible. Sure, you have graced the business with your business, however that does not entitle you to get everything for free.
Unless, of course, you politely persuade them.
If there aren’t any readily available sales or discounts, the best window of opportunity to ask is during that awkward silence after you’ve offered some gesture of goodwill. If saving a few dollars is your goal, you could have, minutes earlier, said: ‘No need to rush.’ If 10 years of customer service taught me anything, it’s gratitude toward others.
I’ve seen many people use politeness is a strategic advantage.
A combination of the two – Polite Decisiveness – can lead to your one optimal result. If you’re in a hurry, state it without emotion. Ask if the time frame is comfortable within their schedule. If it’s quality, state your reason for choosing them: they provide value. I’ll even ask to fill out customer surveys with strictly positive feedback.
There are creative currencies to acquire what you want.
John understands the decisive negotiations part well, in that he is more willing to bend reality to his will, and Trishna understands the polite negotiations part well. She can put people at ease. Through their friendship, relationship, and collaboration, they become a great team in getting what they want without questionable morality.
It’s all about goals and thresholds.
If the service – negotiation that is fair for both customer and company – is inflexible, they have no problem leaving. They may not coach each other, or strategize, on ways to get one dollar off a meal from a new restaurant, but Trishna teaches the value of patience, as John teaches Trishna the value of asking for more.
They practice throughout college.
I imagine that by graduation, they will not have thoroughly mastered the art of negotiation. That takes years of sales encounters, self-confidence, and dodging potentially-exciting deals. Through that time and more, however, they will have established foundational knowledge.
Success is highly subjective.
If they consider success as a humble life together, free from most conflicts, and the ability to spend most of their time together, isn’t that like considering an easily-acquired $10 off “coupon” to be more rewarding than straining yourself, a business relationship, or more for $20 off? What if the goal is friendly negotiation?
Strategize to achieve your personal goals.
|Quotes:  Me.  Service representative.|
|Sources: My personal experience.|
|Inspirations: Read 4-Hour Workweek for ~30 minutes then wrote the first draft in one sitting.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Picture: John and Trishna are negotiating with a salesperson, probably a few years into their relationship and college education. I kept the tags from my car’s routine maintenance, propping up the bigger tag, and taping the smaller tag to the posterboard. The LED lightstrip and lightbox accoutrement unintentionally made for good background features. The green background is “for your imagination.”|
|Written On: May 14th (first draft), 22nd (second)|
|Last Edited: May 22nd|