What is one of the things that people hate most in life, yet is absolutely critical?
Not just in business, or jobseeking, but every area there is…
Bargaining. Haggling. Dealmaking.
I’m reminded of the wonderful sketch in Monty Python‘s Life of Brian, where he won’t haggle, and the incredulity of the merchant, to the extent he even gets his security in to make sure there is some bargaining…
And I’ve seen it myself, as I’ve been taking on writers for my new company.
We have a lovely conversation about their achievements, everything they’ve done, what they enjoy most about the job, and then I ask what their day or hourly rate is…
And they get all coy, and look away, and mutter or mumble.
But they shouldn’t. Because haggling is so fundamentally important.
Why? Well, imagine it from my perspective.
I’m going to be sending these writers to work with clients, who need services, and are then going to start talking about a price.
So, do I want someone who will immediately take the first offer?
Or at least do a good impersonation of blowing out their cheeks, and looking hurt, in order to get a better price.
That’s why haggling is critical. It’s a basic life skill, it's expected, and it works for both sides.
There is no need to be embarrassed. We all know the game, and the rules.
Whether, as in Life of Brian, we're haggling for a beard, or elsewhere, for a house, a car, a job.
The trick is to be prepared. Go in knowing what the standard rate is for whatever you’re bartering about.
Have an ideal amount in mind, but also a minimum for which you'll settle -
And get haggling.
No one will think badly of you for doing so... but they certainly will if you don’t.