Negotiation Skills

Many years ago our family set out to buy a car for mum. Having seen a few vehicles and dismissed them as being made of mostly rust, and lacking confidence for the back of some of them to actually follow the front around corners, we finally found a good prospect. Good condition, reasonable price, just a bit of negotiation to get things where we wanted them.

By now father and I were well rehearsed in whistling through our teeth, tut tutting and generally looking unhappy with the situation. This, we thought, would serve us well towards the end of the process where the seller looks at us and says "Well, what do you think?". We could then use these cunning skills to further drive down the price.

Except that for this trip we actually had mum with us. And she had not been briefed on this part of the process. When asked by the seller "What do you think?" she replied brightly "I think we should just pay the money". Which we did. Took all the fun out of it though. Turned out to be a splendid car. An original Mini with the lorry driver's steering wheel and the super whizzy handling. Great fun.

I was reminded of this today, when we ended up buying a car. That we actually did this was a tribute to the skills of the salesman. I'm not sure where they train these people, and perhaps I might be a bit more suggestible than some, but it is kind of worrying. If these guys ever decide to take over the world we are all in trouble. Maybe the good ones already have, and we are just buying stuff to keep them all happy. I tried both the techniques to ward off sales pressure that I remembered from the Which Report I read a couple of years ago. The car arrives on next week.

The memories kicked in when I was summoning my last reserves of negotiating skill to try and improve the deal and number one wife said firmly "I think we should just buy it". If it is as good a car as the Mini was, we will be fine.