7 Negotiation Strategies Applied to an Everyday Situation
Recently I went on an amazing mother daughter trip with my daughter after she graduated from CSULB.
We flew into and out of Philadelphia. We had a great time visiting family and sights. We saw Phantom of the Opera in NYC, experienced the Holocaust Museum and Rolling Thunder Run For the Wall in DC plus other, The Liberty Bell in Philly and the “Rocky Steps” and the 911 Museum and Ellis Island plus Central park and much more.
We came back from NYC to where our rental car was parked at the train station in Jersey pretty late and got to a hotel at about midnight. It was an upscale hotel that I am a preferred member of their line of hotels.
I walked in to get a room, the person behind the counter finally got to me after taking several phone calls and told me she couldn’t book a room for me and that I had to go through reservations. She dialed the number and handed me the phone and the person at reservations said she couldn’t help me and would have to connect me to the front desk. I told the reservations person I was at the front desk and gave the phone to the front desk person to work it out with the reservation person. When the front desk person hung up she said no one could help me and basically dismissed me out the door.
I was too tired to think of how to fix that so I just walked away stunned at what had just transpired. It had to be some kind of a joke. It took me over an hour to find a room because most of them were sold out for the night. This hotel was not sold out, they had rooms, they just all refused to help me get a room for the night.
When I woke up the next morning and had a chance to process the events of the night before in a clear mind, I was not happy with the results and how I was treated. I thought about a course of action, what I wanted to happen as a resolution and called the corporate customer service line and reported what had happened. They documented the information, gave me a case number and said the manager from the hotel would contact me. They had verified that the hotel had rooms and were as perplexed as I was about what had happened. I asked if I would receive some kind of consideration for the issue and they indicated that would be up to the hotel.
The manager called an left a message and sent an email. It took me about a week to get him to reconnect with me after the initial contact. After finally speaking with him it seemed as though he assumed his “sorry that happened” email was all he wanted to say. He repeatedly told me the reservation person should have helped me and they should have told me to book a reservation online if the system was down. He never apologized for how his staff treated me other than to say “sorry that happened.”
When I asked for some consideration he said “you didn’t stay at the hotel so I can’t help you there.” Another moment of “you’ve got to be joking.” After several minutes of conversation I realized I was going to get nowhere with him so thanked him and told him I would take it up with the main corporate customer service line.
I contacted customer service, gave them my case number and after going over what happened again, I waited for her to check to see what she could do. All I wanted was some kind of consideration for what had happened to me. Something more than a “sorry that happened and go away now” attitude.
In the end I received some points added to my account, which is all I wanted anyway just as an acknowledgement for what had happened.
Why did I push the issue? Because I firmly believe people should be accountable for their actions in not providing excellent service. If we do not speak up, it gives them the ok to keep treating people badly. This is a 4 star hotel and I have been treated better at 2 star hotels.
Here are 6 strategies from the Think Like A Negotiator book that applied to this specific situation and how they actually apply and how you can use these strategies when you have an everyday life situation.
Everything Is Negotiable – This is the foundation of Think Like A Negotiator. Go in with the mindset that everything is negotiable before you start a discussion. This is usually why a discussion is started in the first place, because you have the mindset that everything is negotiable and you are aiming for a solution to a problem or resolution of some kind of a situation.
By this example you can see how the negotiation strategies work in an everyday life situation. This would also work in business, employment, relationships, any area of life.
I did say 7 strategies didn’t I? So #7 is also about owning your power, and is one of the foundational strategies in becoming a master negotiator. Many people would have not wanted to speak up or simply let it go. Some because they didn’t want to hassle with it, some because they didn’t think they would get anything for their trouble. Owning your power means standing up for yourself and to give feedback to people when they offer services way below standards.
The most important thing to take away here is keeping in mind that everything is negotiable when you think like a negotiator and to speak up when these kinds of situations occur. I am sure that hotel will think again before they turn someone away.
Keep on Thinking Like A Negotiator!