During the holidays we spend more time thinking about what other people want. In our quest to find the perfect gift, we agonize over what will bring the most joy to others.
Actually, this same thought process is helpful when preparing for a negotiation. Considering how your request benefits others will give you courage to ask for what you want.
In the research for my book Ask Outrageously! we found that 2/3 of people are more comfortable asking for things on behalf of someone else – such as a child, a client, a person in their care – than for themselves. For instance:
Asking for time off from work would enable your family to enjoy a vacation.
Speaking up at an intimidating work meeting could help other employees with an important decision.
Asking for a discount might help your friends or family enjoy a nicer gift, or more gifts, from you. (My kids are in favor of this approach.)
While shopping this holiday season, strengthen your negotiation skills with some easy requests.
Practice asking. The #1 thing people are afraid ask for in their personal lives is to cut in line! People would rather ask to borrow money than to cut in line. You will strengthen your asking skills when you:
Ask to use an expired coupon or get a discount.
- Ask for a free dessert or better table at a restaurant.
Ask a fellow shopper for advise on a purchase or a stranger for information.
Ask a salesperson for something you can’t find.
Ask to cut in line! (Ask politely. Then, wish them happy holidays.)
Ask and stop talking. When you’ve asked for what you want – BE QUIET! A natural response after asking is to create nervous chatter in the silence. Don’t do it. Once you’ve achieved your objective, politely part company, complete your purchase, leave the room or end the phone conversation.
Remember what you feel is outrageous may be a common request. Decision makers have heard crazier requests than yours. Be courteous.
Asking for what you really want doesn’t mean you are greedy or taking advantage of others. It means not settling for less than you want or need.
Remember after holiday sales? Those opportunities are waiting for you.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
About Linda: A recognized authority on negotiations, workplace issues and strategic communication, Linda Byars Swindling, JD, CSP is an author, media expert, a “recovering” employment attorney, and a professional speaker. Follow Linda on twitter @LindaSwindling