Prices and conditions are not fixed. To negotiate is to come to agreement with the objective of reaching a mutually acceptable result. If you don’t reach a result then you have lost nothing so you lose nothing by asking.
We test this idea everyday. How much can we reduce a price, change terms, get something we didn’t expect. I tested this idea out one day at Subway. Yes the sandwich shop. I know some of you may be thinking how the heck can you negotiate in a sandwich shop. I ordered a sandwich, and when I got to the register I asked if they would throw in a cookie. They did. I didn’t have to pay for it. The trick. I was really nice to the people working in the store who were helping me and it didn’t hurt to have a couple of really nice women with me at the time.
Everyone needs to win. The art of negotiation is to reconcile what is a good result for both sides. Both sides need to come out ahead otherwise the next negotiation breeds animosity and vengeance. Whether or not a negotiation is a loser depends on the way the negotiation takes place and how the results are packaged. One’s perspective has nothing to do with the terms of the agreement. If one feels thinks they were cheated, they were whether you got for what you came for or not.
Successful negotiation leaves both sides feeling they received a fair enough deal. Knowing what you want from the negotiation is critical and understanding what the other side wants is really important so that you can find crossover points.