Client’s often ask me this question – and I always ask myself the same question. Sometimes it is in the employment context. Should I accept the offer or ask for more money? In this case, my advice is usually, “Go ahead and ask.” My reasoning is if they have concluded they want you – there may be more room in the budget and if not, it is extremely unlikely they will say, “No, there is no more money and out offer is withdrawn.” In fact, while this is possible – I’ve never seen it or heard of it happening. More often, if you ask for more – 5 to 10%, you may receive all or at least a part of it. No guarantees, but I think it is a smart play. Employer’s like confident employees and that’s a way of showing it.
When we do Debt Resolution for a client – where we settle the credit card debt in the range of 20% to 60% of the debt owed (on average about 35%), the question comes up every time. The bank is owed $20,000 and has agreed to accept $5,000. That’s good, but $4,000 is better. Our theory, we push, and push until they say, “no, no and no.” At that point, while I still wonder, I’m comfortable that we’ve gotten to the bottom number. Of course, there is a lot that goes to the process of knowing how to push and when to push – I suppose that’s the so-called Art of the Deal we hear about! You have to know the area and the players. Those that say, “No,” sometimes mean, “Not today.” Others that say, “No,” may mean “This is as good as it will get.”
Then there is the business deal – settling or negotiating a commercial matter. Both sides are fighting for the best deal. How do you know if you’ve gotten the best deal you can make? The answer is you never know for sure, but you need to push the envelope. I believe you push until the other side refuses to budge – and then you can back off to find common ground – if that will work for you. Even then, I always walk away wondering, “Could I have gotten more or paid less?” To me, the true measure of a fighter – is one who is so committed to the best outcome, even when the matter is resolved, the question lingers as to whether you could have pushed for more. Understand, however, it’s just a thought process. Once you’ve made the deal, it is time to move on to the next deal.
In a nasty fight – such as a divorce or business breakup, I often say, “A good deal is where both sides walk away, with mutual dissatisfaction.” While this may sound unappetizing, it is frequently the case – as resolutions require compromise and no one likes to compromise!
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