You might think that 20 CZK (1 USD) is definitely not an amount of money worth a story. But let me give you another perspective – how many books that you’ve read have earned you anything at all?
Last Wednesday, I was at the 360 bar at an InterNations party. My choice of drinks that night was conservative – I opted for a glass of black currant juice. I expressed my wish to the bartender who nodded and disappeared for a short while. When she came back, I noticed that she had a strange smile. In addition there was something very strange about the color of my drink. It didn’t look like black currant juice at all.
“I’m so sorry sir, but I’ve poured you a cranberry juice by mistake.” Before I could say that it was okay, she continued. “And we don’t have any black currant juice.”
Now, if this had happened a week ago I would have said that it was okay and accepted the cranberry juice without a word. However this week, I was reading the book Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson. One of the rules stuck in my mind – Always ask for a Trade-Off.
The rule goes like this: “(…) any time the other side asks you for a concession in the negotiations, you should automatically ask for something in return.”
“Hah!” I thought. But, you know. It’s easier said than done when you try to apply something for the first time. I just couldn’t think of anything to say apart from…
“So do I get an ice-cream for free?”
I know. It was a bar. And no, they didn’t serve ice-cream.
Imagine my surprise when the bartender came back with a counter offer. “I’m afraid I can’t help you with the ice-cream, but how about me charging you just 50% of the price of the drink?’
In the book it said about the trade-off trick: “The first time you use this Gambit, you’ll get back the money you invested in this book many times over.” Well, it didn’t deliver at 100% (rather 10%, if I consider that I paid 10 USD for the Kindle edition). But perhaps the trick was intended to be used for bigger things than a glass of cranberry juice in the bar!
That night, a door to a world of unlimited possibilities opened to me.
And from now on – I’ll look twice at what the world has to offer. It might be more than I ever imagined.