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When Negotiation is Fun

I love negotiation. I love negotiating. I wish I could do it more often. I receive the same exhilaration from it that I do from playing a competitive sport – without the risk of physical injury I might add. After another insightful lecture in my Change Management course, I was ready to apply my new negotiation skills immediately.
The first opportunity I had was when I needed to add a Northwestern hoodie to my wardrobe. I was going to a Wildcats football game with some of my MSC classmates after classes were done and I needed some school spirit gear for the chilly evening ahead.
I walked into a Northwestern apparel shop and started inspecting the various options. The store was empty, so the attendant was eager to assist me in any capacity. When asked who I was shopping for, I casually mentioned that it was for myself and my siblings who had birthdays soon. I could see the attendant’s excitement rise at the thought of convincing me to purchase my siblings’ birthday gifts at his store.
As soon as I asked a question about one of the products, he answered it quickly, but then proceeded to say it was “on sale”. I had made a few rounds in the store and new there were no sales going on. It was clear the attendant wanted to make a sale and please his customer. I looked at the clock and noticed it was fifteen minutes to closing time. I told the attendant I needed to think about it.
After waiting a few more minutes, pretending to ponder the hoodie I had my heart set on, I tried it on and asked the attendant how much it was “on sale” for. His price was 25% off the list price and I made my decision to purchase it immediately. I liked the hoodie and the attendant wanted to make the sale. This was a clear Win-Win negotiation. I left the store before it closed with my new hoodie for the game the following evening. The store attendant was pleased because not only did he make the sale, but by offering me the special discount, I assured him I would return if I ever needed more Northwestern gear.