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Why Everything Is Negotiable

What would happen if you learned to push just a little more to get your way? Most of us give up the minute someone tells us that something is non-negotiable, but in our experience very few things actually are.

To illustrate this point, we decided to tell you three different stories. The first two are about scenarios where we were able to negotiate something even when it seemed impossible to do so, including a medical bill and a software license fee that was set in stone. The third is about Sergei’s old boss, and how he was able to negotiate a bonus payout for all of his employees, virtually pulling money out of thin air.

Through these examples and more we’ve learned that almost anything can be negotiated as long as you take the time to ask the right questions and continue to dig, establish leverage, and focus on retaining the relationship with the person you’re speaking with. For every rule, you can find an exception.

Show Notes

00:25 Today’s topic is how everything is negotiable. Well, not everything — you have to choose what is worth negotiating.

01:25 A lot more things are negotiable than we think. Even if it doesn’t look like it, consider giving it a try. We will share a few stories from our experience with you today.

02:00 Vadim’s story on negotiating a medical bill. If we feel that there is an injustice, we fight back and figure out the issue: this situation was no different. We talk more about this in this episode —  https://thementors.co/podcast/how-getting-bullied-made-us-stronger/

06:20 Once you establish a common ground while negotiating, it is easier to take it from there and see what can be done to resolve the issue.

07:12 Relationships matter. In this case, Vadim ended up on a good side because he did express his loyalty to the company. Secondly, you always have to be willing to continue the conversation. Don’t give up, keep moving the conversation forward. Third, make the other side justify their stance. Every statement should be backed up.  

08:20 You can come up with a solution that can work for both of the parties. It is not natural for some people to push but the more you do it, the better you become at it. With every question Vadim posed, he bought himself more time to think of a different way to position the conversation, and he ended up winning it.

09:12 Sergei’s story on negotiating something not that obvious: software licensing. When there is a commitment already, don’t be afraid to ask one more question. There is a relatively low chance that after all the settled negotiations your ask will be rejected at this point.

12:51 A major lesson here: if you can create a win-win opportunity for the people you’re negotiating with, that always helps to close a negotiation in your favor much faster. Another takeaway is that some negotiations don’t happen in one day or session. The negotiating position can change over time as more information is uncovered, and once someone commits a lot of time to a negotiation (sunk cost) they are less likely to simply let a deal fall apart.

13:27 You might be negotiating about something right now, but it doesn’t mean you will never see this person again, so relationships do matter; think about how this might affect you in the future.

14:29 Last story is about how Sergei’s former boss was able to negotiate for all of his employees to get signing bonuses when the company was bought.  

18:40 The reason why we share these stories is that a lot of times in life we think that there are rules set in stone to everything. However, that is not usually the case. While we do agree on certain frameworks, we still tend to make up our ways as we go.

Do ask for more, push a little bit more, and get the desired outcome you are looking for.

19:39 Ultimately all these rules are set by people, which means they can be changed. If you can figure out how to leverage human relationship and understand the other side, you can negotiate everything.


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