Monday, October 18, 2010

You Never Know What You Could Get . . .

"Success is the child of audacity."
- Benjamin Disraeli

I'm very fond of reminding my wife that "you'll never know what you could get unless you ask." The reason I like this saying is that this truth never ceases to amaze me. When I was telling my friend Mike about this the other day, he reminded me of the first time I had used this in his presence. We were both walking back to our classes at Briercrest Bible College (in the sprawling metropolis of Caronport, SK). Our Dorm, Lewis Apartments was the furthest away dorm and so we had to walk past several houses to get back to our rooms. One the way we noticed a man outside his house admiring what appeared to be a brand new sports car. We talked with him and he explained that yes, he had just took possession of his shiny new car. On a whim I asked "How would you feel about me taking it for a little spin?" I didn't expect him to answer but he laughed and said "sure." A few minutes later Mike and I were driving around Caronport in a super nice sport car! All because I had the audacity to ask.

At a wedding out in Morweena this weekend I was part of something similar. The wedding was very cool and creative (congrats Jalysia and Randy!) and everyone who wanted one was given a glass bottle of coke to drink. My buddy Jay asked if we could get another one from our "waitress" who responded that she wasn't allowed to give out anymore. This was disappointing but I comically asked her if she accepted bribes. Jay seized the moment and offered her $5 if she'd get us two bottles of coke. She looked flustered and left. Jay was serious though and put a $5 bill under his empty bottle and when the waitress returned she looked even more flustered and awkward. After she left again we laughed at her discomfort and didn't expect anything else. But a few minutes later she zipped by, took the $5, and left two cold cokes for us both to drink! It was funny but also a lesson in opportunity. I made a comment, Jay took action, and the reward was some good laughs and some cold drinks. Coke tastes better when you work for it.

I saw an ad about a month ago on kijiji for a gift certificate for Falcon Trails Resort, Jobina and I's favorite get-a-way in Manitoba. The certificate was worth $1750 and the owner was asking $1500 for it. If you've ever been to Falcon Trails you know that this place is worth paying full price at, and a $200 discount off of a week during the high season is nothing to be sneezed at. I emailed her and politely asked if she'd consider an offer of $900! She countered at $1400 and I countered at $1000. She wouldn't budge from $1200 so I offered $1050 - final offer. We were at an impasse so I told her I'd look around and if I changed my mind I'd get back to her. This was about 2 weeks ago. I'd given up hope when on Friday I got an email saying that she'd woken up that morning and although she had another offer, my email was the politest and so she was willing to sell for $1050! We sealed the deal today and we were able to save ourselves $700 on our vacation for next year.

If you know me you know that I'm not very smooth, well spoken, or above average in my ability to negotiate. But I do have one trait that I'm trying to develop - audacity. The audacity to assertively ask for things - and see what happens. It's not that hard! If you have any stories on how you got something just by asking, please share them here and inspire us!


Dayna said...

*Did Jalysia actually marry Randy by any chance? :)

and thanks for the encouragement to ask! before taking my current job i quite boldly asked about the car and the possibility of using it frequently on the weekends (i probably drive an average of 150-175km per weekend) knowing it would probably be a dealbreaker for me and they said yes! ...and then so did i! i'm glad i had the nerve to ask!

also, i'm leaving in an hour for a wisdom tooth surgery that i booked less than a week ago! i found out last minute that i was getting a week of holidays and figured it'd be perfect timing to get rid of my last 2 W teeth. i knew it was super short notice, but figured "it doesn't hurt to ask!" and sure enough. i could have just said that they probably didn't have any openings, but instead i'm almost on my way to have my gums cut open. horray!

Jay Boaz said...

Yes, congrats to Kevin for handing out the lollipops at Randy and Jalysia's wedding. :)

I'd also add to the story that when she dropped of our Cokes, the bottle caps were still on. We chuckled that she was holding out for more money for a bottle cap opener, but fortunately for us Aaron Gregory Macguyver'ed them open with a spoon. Mark gave Aaron $2 for his trouble. Our waitress did actually come back with a bottle cap opener after that.

And for anyone thinking we were horrible people for bribing this girl for a beverage she told us at the end of the night we were the most fun table she had!

Elayne said...

...and I've been shopping for the perfect purse, finally found it, realized it was much more than I really wanted to pay for a purse, even though it was marked down 10%. I took it to the till and said to the owner I would like to get 30% off the price and she said "OK"!! This happened to be in a very nice dress shop in our city where normally people do not ask for bargains!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I don't think I have audacity, since I had to ask Jonathan what it means and I mispronounced it anyways! My cousin and her husband have gone to a hotel and asked the front desk..."we have so and so many dollars, would you give us a room for that?" They have had hotels do that for them since the hotel would rather take the $80 than have a room sit empty for a night and make $0. Worth a try!

Mark said...

Hey, thanks for your sharing everyone (and yes, Dayna, I changed it to Randy, thanks for that). I am definitely going to try the hotel thing sometime (thanks Lois). Anymore audacious stories out there?

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