I needed the store to stay open for another hour.
The lady at the desk wasn’t having it. She needed to close the store’s doors at 6pm and that was that.
So, I asked “what would have to happen for you to stay open for another hour?”
She thought about it.
I offered a few extra bucks.
I offered more.
She said she wasn’t going to take my money.
I asked her again if she had a magic wand, what would she “poof” away or “poof” into existence.
Was there something I could do to help her make her job easier in exchange for some extra time.
She took some time to think about it.
After a while she said “you know what would help? If you wrote me a review on Yelp and told my boss that I helped you out.”
It wasn’t about the money.
It cost me 3 seconds to write a sterling review about how she bent over backwards to help me, her customer and share with her boss.
She valued recognition—not cash.
With some open ended questions and empathy we were able to get to a solution that the store manager was happy with and that also let me in after hours.
2 Minute Action
Before you negotiate anything or with anyone . . .
. . . it could be a used car, with a pre-teen, or the Shah of Iran . . .
. . . take an extra 2 minutes to ask a few probing, open ended questions that get at the heart of the problem.
Genuine empathy and effort to understand will often result in a solid win/win.