This weekend I am going to Miri. We are opening a booth there.

On Monday, H tell me that the B (name of a shopping complex in Miri) in Miri is charging us 50% more than what B in Kuching is charging us. Plus the rate is super expensive. It is on par with what the more famous hypermarket in Semenanjung is charging. Although they claim the booth is bigger.

I offered to help H in negotiating a better deal. So I called the officer in charge.

First, background story. We have asked for H’s father to contact the management to get us a better deal. From what the officer in charge, D said the rate is even higher and the 50% more than we get is already a “special” price. H’s father knows the manager. So what I am doing is basically try to get an “even more special not available although using cable” price. Pretty impossible, considering I am an outsider (Semenanjung and I never been to Miri and never met D in person)

H tell me, if I can get a 10% discount its good enough.

And I call D.

After introducing myself, D asked me whether I have seen the quotation she sent and how it is.

Here, D made a mistake already. When she asked me how is her quotation, I straight away understand that she can actually quote us a better price. If she is confident with her price or she has done all she can to give us the better price, she would not ask that question (true for all type of negotiations).

So, never ever reveal your position early in negotiation.

After I spot this, I immediately put her in the defensive mode. I said, “Yes I have. And your price are not good enough”

And I put more pressure by adding social proof and demonstrating to her, I know my stuff and I have done my homework. I say “What you charge is ridiculous! Even Jusco Taman Maluri a high traffic Jusco does not charge as much as you do. Even Tesco in Johor. Even KB Mall, And this is a super high traffic supermarket”

To be fair, what B charge are on par with the more famous supermarket in KL. But I simply choose the one who charge less (pick data that is beneficial for you).

In this negotiation, I have one weakness. I must open my booth there and B has no real competitor for my business (nobody can offer traffic tha B has). But B does not know this although they can guess it.

So, D said to me; “But we are different. We are in Miri. Encik Sabri, has you been to Miri?”

I know they want to expose my weakness. So confidently I say;

“No, I have not. BUT, I have did my homework. We have done research. We have solid data (I use “We” here to give an impressions that we are a big company with our own research department). I have my numbers. F my manager is a Sarawakian. I know your price is excessive.”

All in one breath. D has no more points to argue (actually she has, but maybe she doesn’t know). So, she make an offer;

“So Encik Sabri, if we offer you RM xxx per day okay or not? (20% off).

Here, I know I already won. Our target is to get 10% but she already offer 20%. Mission accomplished. BUT!

She made another mistake. By asking okay or not, I know that she can give us a better price.

However, I don’t want to get greedy and drive her to the wall. I got what I want already. I am afraid she changed her mind. But I want to make sure we can score a better deal in the future. So I reply;

“That’s not good enough also. Can you give me RM xxx per day? (35% off)”

She said, “Difficultlah. If that much I need to talk to my boss first”

So I conclude, “Okaylah that way. But tell your boss I will take this more expensive price (with 20% off though), but in the future when we come to B again, I want RM xxx (35% off). We will renegotiate. Let’s do a long term business. Not a one shot one.”

“Okay Encik Sabri, I will fax you the details.”

Done.

All in 7 minutes flat.

And do not make a mistake. We are not negotiating to buy everyday item here, 20% saving here means a lot. It can buy a lot of thing. So it really mean a lot for us.

As a tribute, I would like to recommend you to read, “Trump Style Negotiation” by George Ross (Donald Trump’s lawyer). It taught me a lot which I practice in the above negotiation. Also F & A who are arranging and seeing that everything are attended to well in Miri.

Sabri,
Master Hustler

p/s: Read another post about my negotiating triumps here: Kepuasan Tidak Terhingga