Rude to Ask for What You Want? The Anatomy of a Simple Ask
You don’t know Megha Tara Sardana, but her days in anonymity are likely numbered. She emailed me a couple of weeks ago asking to take our signature course, She Negotiates, for $100. In our book, that makes her almost famous, because women are notoriously bad askers.
Megz, as she likes to be called, lives and works fulltime in India, writes a blog called MegzSpeakz, and has entrepreneurial eggs in many other baskets. She’s young, energetic, and way ahead of her peers in terms of asking, and she has big plans.
I raised my left eyebrow when I read her offer. I think I might have even frowned since her offer was less than 25 percent of the asking price. And then I remembered that part of our walk-the-talk ethic for our consulting and coaching fees is preceded by a “Negotiate This” dare on our website. And truly, women have never taken us up on our dare until now.
(After all, it’s rude, don’t you know.)
Her initial request revealed several simple tactics she was naturally good at. I began to wonder if we could teach her anything:
I loved your article (ingratiation) and would love to sign up for your course (names item on the table). But as I am based in India, the course value after conversion comes to around INR 20K (reason-giving for why that would be a hardship). And as I am just saving to start my own coaching practice and leave my job, this is really beyond my budget (more reason giving, disclosing her future interests, and closing in on an anchor). I can pay up to $100 (Anchor). I would so love it if you could reduce the cost for me and/ or let me pay in installments by Paypal (specific request with suggestions for workability).
In response to her savvy, I wrote her back:
I love your boldness in asking (ingratiation with relationship) and that's a huge step so many of us never ever take! (acknowledging initial offer, appreciating difficulty of asking). Here are some possible options for us (staying at the table, brainstorming): Pay $300 in installments, and bring in one full paying person; pay $200 in installments and bring in 2 full paying people; pay $100 and bring in 3 full paying people; free if you can bring in 4 people.
Here in America, we’d be done. We rarely go more than two rounds. Megz, however, proposed another iteration that I followed up with what would become the final agreement. That’s four rounds that resulted in this happy outcome:
She would offer to her blog readers and Twitter friends a special discounted price, and the more she sold, the lower her price would be for the class. Our final emails all illustrated simply staying at the table to make each other happy and generating a structure with the least administrative hassle.
Collaborative, interest-based, win-win, everybody happy, and a young person with her eyes wide open.
If you’d like to get a discounted seat on behalf of Megz, follow this link!