Also playing the role of the buyer in negotiations can open the eyes of a salesman to the power the buyer has and how the buyer uses it. One way to experience that power is to go out to buy something that you really have no intention of getting unless you get a good deal. Such was the case for me while in Chicago for a beer seminar.
On the walk to a nearby brewpub, I strolled though a mall. As I was going through Nordstroms I happened to be going through the men's clothing department so I decided to look at some dress slacks and then see if I could get a deal at Nordstroms of all places. My wife wanted a gift from Chicago so many I can do a package deal.
So I tried on a pair slacks that I liked that were priced at $110 and I thought, well when these slacks are on a rack in the Phoenix Nordstroms they'll probably cost around $80. So, I'll go for that price and then when I'm told no, I'll promise to purchase perfume as part of the deal and of course while I'm purchasing perfume I'll ask for extra sampler gifts. At that point a sales lady in the area come up to me and I told her how much I liked the slacks and what I will pay for them because I live in Arizona, she said no and then I threw the whole deal at her and she said no, this is Nordstroms and we don't do that. Then I asked for the deptarment manager and she said she is so I asked for the floor manager and she called her over and I got another no and I said to her that I won't buy anything at all unless you do this deal and isn't purchasing something better than nothing at all. It wasn't to her, so I asked for the store manager and they called her!! Same routine and same no, so I walked just like I promised.
I laughed as I was walking through the mall about what they must be thinking of me but what do I care? I won't be seeing them again. And then a store on the second floor caught my eye. It was some kind of novelty shop with beer advertisement in the window and a big sign that said 33% off everything. I immediately headed there with hope that I can do a deal. It's fun to go in and try and get a deal on somehting you don't care if you have it or not but it's more fun if it's something you like.
As I entered there was a young lady working alone and I was the only customer. I saw a string of Guinness Can lights that would make a good gift for a friend so I picked them up. The I saw a Hoegaarden 33cl beer glass for $2.00. The clerk was standing there so I turned to her and told her that I'm in the beer business and I know that this glass cost only 50 cents (not being truthful) and that I'll buy the lights and the glass if she sells it to me for 50 cents. She remarked that the owners allow her to be flexible in order to make a sale so how about $1.00? I answered ok but it gets the 33% off on top of that and she agreed.
A very penny annie negotiation but fun and eye opening for people that walk around paying marked prices everywhere they shop. There are many times that the seller is wanting to make a sale but the buyer doesn't realize that so the buyer might walk without even going up to bat to get a deal. The same for beer sales reps that are getting no's from the retail store buyer, that buyer is looking for the best deal and that first no is in anticipation that the sales rep will offer something better. Supermarket managers are great at this and love to play games with new sales reps that have no negotiation skills. Be prepared learn the power of being the buyer and the powers of being the seller.