Negotiation Tips From a Beggar

Published: Feb 15 , 2016
Author: Jared Bamford

Our Scotwork office is located in central Sydney. We see many homeless and less fortunate people, and frequently I am stopped and asked for “spare change?”. Today, as I ambled back to the office following my lunch break I spotted a homeless man perched in front of our office building. He had a sign which read “I’m trying 2 get $26 to get a bed 4 tonight, thank you”.

I thought to myself, I bet this guy has more success getting donations than most beggars. Not because his shoes are more worn, his shirt more dirty or his hair more dreadlocked. No, I was impressed by the fact his sign is specific about what he wants. He disclosed he needs exactly $26 for a bed as opposed to a more round figure (such as $20) or simply asking for “some money” or “spare change”. This gives his request inherent credibility, which research shows improves the chances of success in getting what you ask for.

I later found out a colleague of mine had asked him a couple of days earlier how much money he needed to reach his $26 target, his response, “$9”, again specific! My colleague gave $10, and he slept well that night.

The lesson for negotiators - know what you want, be specific about what it is that you want, and then be brave enough to ask for it.

Sounds simple, right? I guess this homeless man has learned the benefits of being specific, something others should also take on board.

 


SHARE

2018 Jared 432 v2

About the author:

Jared Bamford
Jared’s background is in sales and marketing, working in a range of industries including manufacturing, health and fitness, telecommunications and events.

Read more about Jared Bamford

More posts by Jared Bamford

Latest Blog:

Silos Stifle Negotiations

I’m not sure if he had ever had a tour of the factory before, but one of the sales guys decided to tag along with us as his colleague (my client) showed me around the factory. The production manager was clearly passionate and really went into a fair bit of detail beyond what the different machines were… he began to explain how the production line operates and whilst doing so, flagged some of the key impediments to being productive… such as needing to change colours between runs. To my absolute delight, the sales guy became incredibly curious...

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork Negotiation Australia
Level 17 / Suite 2, 25 Bligh Street
Sydney
2000
Australia
02 9211 3999
info.au@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png