Why you should negotiate everything

Ben Dinsdale
by Ben Dinsdale June 4, 2021 / No Comments

Negotiating salaries, car prices, phone bills, and more can cause a lot of stress for Canadians. But by taking baby steps and asking for a new customer discount on your credit card, you can eventually feel comfortable asking for a raise at work. All your negotiations can add up to more money in your pocket. 

On this episode of Ratehub’s Real Money Talk podcast, Tyler and Ratehub, VP of Partnerships/MoneySense General Manager Jon Vassallo, sit down with Mark Raffan. Mark hosts the world’s number one negotiation podcast, Negotiation Ninja. The trio discusses how you can negotiate everything from your grocery basket to the price you pay for your home. 

Start Small

“Try and negotiate as much as humanly possible.” That’s Mark’s first piece of advice. Mark believes you shouldn’t save your negotiations for your car or salary, but you should start with the little things like trying to get a discount at the grocery checkout line. Not only will this put money in your pocket, but it will hone your negotiation skills and make you more comfortable when the time comes for more considerable negotiations. 

Mark believes that these savings can build up when it comes to other smaller bills, like your phone or cable plan. “If you think your time is worth $50/hr and if you think that you can save potentially $50 on your monthly cell phone bill. Even if you stay on (the phone) for two hours, that’s going to save you that $100 over those two months.” 

The downside of these negotiations is that you have to be willing to walk, but if you are, you can bring down your monthly bills significantly by not being afraid to push.

Negotiating your car lease

Another area where a lot of Canadians expect a negotiation is at the car dealership. It can be scary coming up against ‘professional negotiators,’ but Mark says competition is on your side. “You know that you could literally walk down the street to the next dealership, get exactly the same vehicle, and run the negotiation again.” 

His biggest tips for more straightforward negotiations like a car are to know what you want and ask for it. Do your research, and walk into the store saying, “look guys, this is what I need, this is what I want, this is my price that I’m willing to pay. I will buy it from you today if you give me this price.”

How to negotiate salary for a new job offer

The most stressful yet meaningful negotiations are often those that involve your salary and your career. Mark’s advice when it comes to approaching a new job comes in a few steps. The first thing is to appreciate that you got an offer, so feel proud of yourself. Number two is to always thank your potential employer for the opportunity and the offer they made. 

Things get interesting with step three. Mark says you should implement what negotiators call a ‘flinch’ or a ‘squeeze.’ When they put the contract in front of you, practice having a slightly adverse reaction, either in your face or voice. 

Mark says you should try and channel the feeling of walking into a store, seeing a product you like, and then realizing it’s out of your price range. “Negotiation is all about managing perception. So, if we can manage the perception of the counterparty to make them think that you are not as pleased with the offer as they originally thought you would be, then we are in a good spot.”

How to ask for a raise

If you want to get that raise at work, Mark says the first step is to make sure you’re worth it. This may seem obvious, but you need to demonstrate to your employer that you’re worth that extra salary for which you’re asking. A quick google search can tell you the average salary for someone in your position. But, if you’re asking for more than the average and your reviews have only been OK, then you may struggle to convince your employer you’re worth that figure. 

Mark’s other tip is to make sure you plan they deny your request. “You’ve got to think about where you are going to go. You have experience here. You’ve got relationships here, which means that you’re going to potentially have a higher opportunity or probability of having a higher impact in that organization.” If you are willing to walk, make sure that you know which direction you’re walking next. 

If you can’t tell yet, this episode is full of quick, practical tips that will help you negotiate better and put more money in your pocket. To hear the whole conversation with Mark, Jon, and Tyler, listen to your trusted Canadian personal finance podcast, Real Money Talk. You can learn more about Mark’s work at his website negotiations.ninja, or from his negotiations ninja podcast

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