Are you ever afraid to ask for a discount, or an ‘extra’? You are not alone. Personally I am much more confident at proposing solutions to problems, hammering out deals and negotiating terms than I am about confronting someone about giving me a discount.

Surely it’s the same thing – its asking for something I want, but somehow it feels very different. Maybe its being British that holds me back for a second, maybe its just that I don’t want to be ‘pushy’, but its probably more likely that I often accept things too quickly when its already a good deal.

I am currently negotiating with several tradesmen, who are vying for the job of renovating my kitchen. I am finding with each new tradesman that visits to give me a quote for some of the work that I am getting braver at asking for the discount. Why?

Practice. Its been a long time since I have had to deal with so many negotiations in such a short time. I am learning with each tradesman what they expect, what is involved and what the job is worth. It was hard before I started the project to know about costs – I’m not a builder, and have no experience of how much things cost to do. It’s a steep but quick learning curve.

Information, So now I know more. I feel more confident and I understand where their concerns lie and where trades can be made. Timings are important to them – they have other work (or not) to work around, they have people to pay and they have reputations to consider. On the other hand we want a quality job, on budget with as little fuss as possible We also have other (bigger) work we want done in the future, so if they do a good job here, there is no reason why we wouldn’t use them again.

Confidence. Instead of blindly asking for something for nothing – can you knock 500 off your price?   I can use conditional proposing to ask for something for something. For example, If you knock 500 off the price, then I can pay you a deposit up front, with agreed weekly payments through the job when meeting targets. It helps confidence to know what they want, and to be able to offer the something for what you want. It’s less pushy. It’s more assertive. It’s powerful. It works.

So far I’ve managed quite a few savings… I might even manage to save enough to buy an even bigger kitchen!