I was in Paris this week. A few days ago, MrB and I were on the fancy shopping street Rue Saint-Honoré, making our way to concept-store Colette. I always visit Colette, though I’ve never bought anything there. I like to look at the fine jewelry cases and point out to MrB where my designs would fit in perfectly.
As we were walking, I was talking to MrB about some business issues. I said, “I know they can get me a deal, the question is, can they get me a BIG deal?”
A voice loudly answered, “You’ll get the big deal!” I was like, “OMG, the universe is answering me at last!!!” but then I whipped around and saw a cheerful-looking, eavesdropping dude. “In fact,” the man continued in an American accent, “You’ll get the biggest deal. Bigger than you can imagine!” MrB and I laughed, and I thanked the man and said, “Now I feel very confident about this. I know it will happen!”
Then, as MrB and I headed on our way, the man called after us:
“ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU DON’T GET WHAT YOU DESERVE! YOU GET WHAT YOU CAN NEGOTIATE!”
Totally true. (A variation on this tip is that when negotiating, ask for more than what you want, because you’re guaranteed to get less. I can testify to this because when I’ve agreed to practically nothing, I’ve gotten less than nothing, meaning I’ve lost money on “deals” with stores.) Anyway, there you have it. Words of business wisdom from a stranger on the streets of Paris. This one will have to go in my book.