On a recent trip to British Columbia, I booked a two-bedroom suite in Vancouver. I chose the penthouse to enjoy the best view of the city for me and my clients. Upon arrival, I was informed that the elevator to the suite was malfunctioning and, due to a Canadian holiday weekend, no repairs could be expected until after my checkout. Obviously, extra walking and staircase luggage struggles were not what I envisioned when I paid for my reservation.
When you have a legitimate complaint, you need to put on your negotiator’s hat. You don’t want to be the person shouting in the customer service line. Here’s how to seize the opportunity as a skilled negotiator:
- Be the first to propose. Only you know what will satisfy your complaint. Don’t ask the other party what they’re going to do for you, hoping their offer will exceed your expectations. It won’t! Just tell them what you want — you’ll likely be surprised by the results.
- What do you want? Give a concise explanation of how you were aggrieved and why the other party should work with you toward a mutually agreeable settlement.
- Have a wish list. Be prepared to encourage the other side’s creativity. If they can’t fix your actual problem, what else can they offer?
As it turned out, our building was one of two towers in the hotel, which were joined on the top floor. I asked for a complimentary parking space in the tower with the working elevator. But that wasn’t all: My wish list included a 25% discount on my lodging (which I got), a 15% future discount for return visits (a wish-list item that worked for both sides), and access to a fitness club on the top floor that was not included in my original reservation.
By recognizing opportunities to negotiate, you can find extra value while strengthening relationships — and still avoid carrying your luggage up the stairs.
We Can Help You See the Opportunities in Your Deals.
Is your team seeing opportunities in their challenging deals? Draw on Scotwork’s nearly 50 years of real-world negotiating experience to get better deals, save time, and create value that preserves and strengthens relationships. Partner with one of our advisers to ensure you have the optimum view of your deal.