The #1 Negotiating Rule For Getting The Most Out Of The Holidays



This rule will make this an even better holiday season for you and everyone your words touch.  It’s the opposite of “Never be mean to someone who could hurt you by doing nothing”.   “Be proactively and humorously self-deprecating with everyone you’re collaborating with!”. (“Self-deprecating” – modest about or critical of oneself, especially humorously so).

Everyone you have contact with this holiday season is running like crazy trying to keep up – just like you!  Please take the time to make them smile.  Joke about yourself good naturedly.

My mom came out to visit me for Thanksgiving.  When she got out here, they declined her credit card because of charges out of her home area even though she’d called them in advance letting them know she’d be traveling.  Mom’s pretty traditional and she still has a cell phone that looks like the communicator from Star Trek.  

This is to say, she doesn’t text a lot, or receive the text notifications from credit card companies reporting suspicious activity.

By the time she gets someone from customer service on the phone she’s pretty steamed and embarrassed.  She tried to buy me dinner and her card was declined.  She went straight through two customer service reps who likely had spent the entire day getting yelled at.  The most they’d do would be mail her a letter back home (where she obviously wasn’t).  Unbelievable.

Sure it was easy for me to be calm – it wasn’t me getting the bad treatment.

We called them back the next day, with me on speaker.  We did the accusations audit approach – which is really to be proactively and humorously self-deprecating.  You’ve got to smile because they will hear in in your voice.  

“I’m so sorry.  We are causing you so much trouble.  We’re crazy!  There has to be a way we can fix this.”

Customer Service rep: “I see you called in yesterday.  This doesn’t make sense…Why didn’t they send you a text to verify?  Can we send you a verification text?”  

“We have no idea!?  This thing looks like a cell phone from the last century!  Ever seen one of those Star Trek looking communicators?”

Once I could hear the smile in the young lady’s voice I could tell she was a little embarrassed at what the previous customer service reps did.

They sent the text and guess what?  It worked.  We straightened everything out.

Everyone you deal with can hurt you by doing nothing.  So, the great news is everyone you deal with has a way to help you if they just feel like it!

So what I wish for you this holiday season is this:  Black Swan everyone you talk with by getting them to smile.  Try getting “The Chris Price” (or the Brock price – a great friend of mine from my hometown in Iowa got on some things he bought at Macy’s a couple of months ago – about 50%) if you’re bargaining.

You win every time by leaving a trail of smiles behind you.  You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by how much extra you get as a bonus!

Happy Holidays! Please share this. It really helps me out. Thank you!


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