The Art Of Asking
by Jeffrey Strain
One of the most potent saving tools you possess as a
consumer is the ability to ask. This ability can easily save you thousands
of dollars a year, yet the majority of people fail to use it. Most of us are
used to walking into an establishment and handing over the amount of money
indicated for the item or service we want to purchase. Some may spend hours
researching the best deal by going through sale advertisements, comparing
prices and doing other research, but few will try to change the price once
they walk into the establishment itself. This is not so for those who are
trained in the art of asking.
Have you noticed that some people always seem to be able to finagle deals better
than you or anyone else you know? Even when you thoroughly research something
and think you have received the best deal possible, they manage to find a deal
even a little better than you were able to get. Although it may seem like they
have some magical power to create great deals out of thin air, the more likely
explanation is that they have mastered the art of asking.
The art of asking is nothing more than being curious if there is a better deal
out there, and then be willing to ask the questions to find out. To illustrate,
if you have reserved a hotel room in advance to get the best rate possible and
you walk up to the receptionist to announce your arrival, do you automatically
pay the price you reserved the room for? Although this would seem like the
obvious step to take, it fails to utilize the art of asking.
What would be better is to walk to the front desk, announce your arrival, then
say, "I think I have the best room rate possible, but I am not positive. I am a
member of these organizations" and list all of them. Then simply ask, "Is there
a better room rate associated with one of these organizations?"
By far the most difficult part in the art of asking is actually getting up the
courage to ask. If, however, you can get over this initial barrier, you will
have made a significant contribution to your arsenal of money saving techniques.
If you find yourself feeling uneasiness or embarrassed when you know you should
ask a question, just say to yourself, "What do I have to lose?" Questions are
free, so it won't cost you anything to ask. The worst possible outcome is that
the seller will say "no" which will leave you in the exact same spot as you were
before you asked the question. If the seller says "yes," then you've saved
yourself some money for taking a minute to express a few sentences.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when asking if there are better deals out
Ask Politely: Being courteous and asking with a smile will go a long way in
having the person you're talking with want to help you. If you are rude or
demeaning in any way, they will have no incentive to try to see if they can get
you a better deal. Never forget that you won't be able to get a better deal
without their help, so always treat the staff as you would want to be treated
Ask The Appropriate Person: The general rule here is to ask the highest level
person you can. The higher up the chain of command, the more flexibility the
person will usually have in granting any requests you make. If you are planning
on buying multiple large appliances and want to ask for a further discount to
buy them all from one establishment, a manager will have more authority to make
a deal than the regular sales staff.
Point Out The Reason: If there is a legitimate reason for you to be asking for
an additional discount or other compensation, let the person know why. If you
saw the same item advertised at a competitor for less, say so. If you have
consistently been a good and long time customer, mention it. If the store or
service has failed to provide what you expected, make note of it.
Ask For Advice: If there is something you truly want, but it is beyond your
budget, mention this to salesperson and ask their advice on how they would
reduce the costs associated with what you want. Staff members many times have
greater knowledge on the subject than yourself and may offer acceptable, less
expensive alternatives that you have never considered.
Take The Time To Reward: If a salesperson helps you get a better deal than you
expected when you arrived at the establishment, reward their effort. Take a few
minutes to tell the manager what a wonderful job they did or send a letter off
to the company headquarters mentioning the person who helped you. If you
frequent the store often, the employees will know that you reward good service
and will go out of their way to help you the next time you ask for something.
You should begin asking away. Try to ask if there are better deals at least once
a day. The more you practice, the better you will become at it, and soon your
friends will consider you one of those people who seems to possess the magical
power of creating great deals out of thin air. Remember that asking costs
absolutely nothing and it has the potential to save you significant amounts of
money in all areas of your life.
Copyright (c) Jeffrey Strain. He is owner of
- a website dedicated to saving you money through grocery coupons.