When Haggling, Don’t Make It Easy To Say No

When Haggling, Don’t Make It Easy To Say No
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Many of us have a hard time asking for stuff, and that doesn’t make for strong negotiating skills. Self-improvement guru Ramit Sethi calls out a classic mistake among passive hagglers: we make it too easy for the other party to say no.

Photo by geralt.

In his Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance, Sethi offers scripts for haggling everything from credit card interest rates to bank fees. In this guide, he offers a few specific don’ts for negotiating. Making it too easy to say “no” is one of them. He writes:

  • “Are you sure?” Don’t make it easy for the rep to say no.
  • “Is there anything else I can do?” Again, imagine if you were a customer service rep and someone said this. It would make your life easier to just say “NO”. As a customer, don’t make is easy for companies to say no.

Think like a journalist and don’t ask closed-ended questions. Instead, ask questions like, “what can you offer?” It’s is a classic haggling technique because it works a hell of a lot better than “are you sure?”

You can sign up for Sethi’s Ultimate Guide here, and check out Part 3 of the guide, which includes more negotiating techniques, below.

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance-Part 3 [I Will Teach You to Be Rich]


  • Grunt. Sales stuff. I remember being in sales… they taught stuff like this, and a bunch of neuro-linguistic programming. “Change your language… assume the sale. Don’t ask if someone will give you certain information, just ask what that information is, assuming they’re already going to give it to you.”

    I felt… unclean, after learning these things.

    • “We’re not asking you to lie, it’s about manipulation” – and that was supposed to make it better.

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