Stop Overlooking Opportunities to Negotiate

by Suzanne de Janasz

During a workshop for mid- to senior-level career women, I posed the following scenario:

While in your favorite department store, you spot a very attractive pair of “professional” shoes. You happen to know that starting tomorrow, all ladies’ shoes will be 30% off. What would you do?

Anne raised her hand confidently and responded, “I’d come back tomorrow.” Pivoting quickly, I asked, “What if you’re leaving tomorrow morning for a weeklong business trip?” She then responded with “Um … maybe I’d see if I could order them online tomorrow at the sale price?”

It’s true: not everyone is motivated by a sale price. Similar low-stakes negotiations—like asking your cable company for a better ...

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