Last week in the Financial Peace University class, we talked about all the marketing that is done to get consumers, US, to spend our money. From the old-school newspaper ads, mailers, text offers, emails, phone calls and social media deals, it’s hard not to spend the money that we work so hard for. This week I found myself spending money because I didn’t want to “lose” the $10 shopping credit that I had “earned.” Please don’t ask how much money I spent trying to redeem that $10. Yes, I’m human and I still fall prey to these marketing gimmicks.
There are so many terms and gimmicks out there that are out to take your money. Some phrases that are used to create buying urgency include: limited inventory, limited time, sale, today only, buy now, pay later. How about this one, “would you like to save 10% today on your entire order by opening a credit card account with us?” The companies know the numbers. Bottomline, we take the credit card, save the 10%, and even if we pay off the bill, most people do not close the account. Then we have opted in and we become part of the targeted audience for future marketing from the company. It is endless.
All of this being said, there is hope. Last week we talked about negotiations and discounts. Does the thought of asking for a discount paralyze you? Culturally in America, asking for discounts is not a common practice. It’s not too late to start practicing this though! Recently my husband and I took a helicopter ride over Zion National Park. We asked if any discounts were available. The clerk asked if we were military. We were honest and told him “no.” Perhaps because we were honest, he honored the discount anyway. It saved us…get this… $100!
Then after seeing how beautifully green and weedless our friend’s lawn was, we reached out to the service that takes care of their yard. The salesman came to our home and made recommendations on what services would benefit our yard the most. After that, I asked him if “there were any signs we could put in our yard to qualify for a discount.” He told us the signs were required by the law because they use chemicals on the lawn. But he told me he would honor a “senior” discount. As my husband came outside and joined the conversation and went over the options, we decided on the services we wanted. My husband proceeded to say, “my friend said that if we pay in full up front, we can get a discount. What does that look like?” The sales guy literally said, “I’m not making any money here.” My husband and I just laughed. Between the senior discount and the prepay discount, we saved 16% on our bill. This is going to save us another $120! Not to mention, our friend is getting a $30 referral credit for his services next year.
And finally, our business Happy Laundry & Dry Cleaning is growing. We’ve added more team members and we’re currently adding more space to process laundry on a third shift. My husband had two different vendors he could go through for commercial dryers for the added space/shift. After a conversation with a local vendor and ASKING, my husband was able to get a 10% discount per dryer, saving our company about $2,000!
Know that you will be marketed to forever all the gimmicks and sales schemes. Don’t hesitate to ask for a deal or discount tough. Business have offers and they want your business! If you saw $100 on the ground, you would pick it up so don’t leave money on the table! Be honest and be kind. Don’t demand a discount. Be ready to say, “that won’t work for me” or “I need to think about it” if the price isn’t right for you. You don’t earn discounts, but they sure are nice when they are offered, allowed, approved, and ultimately applied to your bill.
I double-dog dare you to negotiate a price or ask for a discount from one vendor this coming week. Leave a comment and let me know what the result was.