Sneaky Negotiation Strategy for Tough Economic Times

Call me when the time is right. When you negotiate, are you aware you can acquire ‘things’ at great discounts, when the timing is ‘right’ ?

Recently, I had the good fortune of being in the presence of Jack Canfield. For those who may not readily identify Jack’s name, he’s the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ co-author. For a short time, I shared the stage with him. I consider Jack to be an astute negotiator and a true gentleman.

While Jack was speaking, he gave insight into what I considered a great negotiation strategy. I’ve termed it, ‘Call me when you’re ready.’ It’s a strategy you can use to enhance your negotiation position and increase your negotiation power. Below is the strategy. See how you might use it.


Prior to making a purchase, identify sources from which you’d like to acquire a product or service. Give yourself as much lead-time as possible before needing the item in question.


Identify a product or service that you’d like to acquire, preferably, from a source that will welcome the opportunity to receive additional business. This strategy will work best, if you identify sources that need additional revenue, sooner than later.

Offer the proprietor, from which you wish to acquire the service or product, the opportunity to do business with you. Present your offer at a reduced rate that is well below the existing asking price. Humbly explain that you know his or her service or product is valued at a much higher rate and well worth it. Then state, ‘if you’d like to enhance your cash flow during a slow time in the future, or if you find yourself with an excess of inventory, please give me a call.’ Leave your contact information with him, be congenial throughout the whole process and exit the environment.

As an added incentive for the proprietor, inform him that you made the same offer to other merchants. Even if he doesn’t contact you, by putting multiple offers out, you increase the probability that someone will meet the price you’ve proposed.

In addition, when you use the ‘call me when you’re ready’ strategy, one source may inform someone in the same line of business, that she has a ‘lead’ of someone that wants to make a purchase, at a specified price. Since source number 1 can’t help, she does her friend (in the same line of business) source number 2, a favor by passing your information on. Source number 2 provides you with what you’re seeking and in the end, you get what you want.

In any case, when this strategy works, you will have helped yourself, while helping a merchant make a sale. Your actions will turn out to be a win-win for everyone involved … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • Understand and appreciate the power in the ‘call me when you’re ready’ strategy. If positioned right, it’s a strategy that you can use to solicit additional business.
  • As a business owner, you can use this strategy in reverse. Just be careful how you ‘mix’ your customer base. Some businesses couch such a strategy as ‘for preferred customers’. It works for them and it will work for you.
  • Never be afraid to use ethical tactics and strategies when negotiating and always strive to leave the person with whom you negotiate in a better position than the one he was in before the negotiation.
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