There’s no doubt about it. One of the absolute greatest assets anyone can have is good communication skills. However, sometimes, when it comes to communicating with others while attempting to buy things, you may wish you had earned your masters degree in communications! You may be tempted to feel bad for speaking up in certain scenarios. You shouldn’t. When it comes to communication in dealing with commerce, less isn’t always (or necessarily) more.
Communication in Shopping
Most of us were probably told by one of our elementary school teachers, “There are no stupid questions.” Even as adults, this is still something to keep in mind. When it comes to buying items, especially big-ticket ones like a house or car, the more questions you ask, the better. Don’t assume that the price that’s being requested is non-negotiable or that there aren’t adjustments that can be made to suit your particular needs. There are more than a few horror stories of homes purchased with bad plumbing or cars bought with an old timing belt (and if you purchased a foreign car, that could mean having to get a new engine!). We ask questions to get answers. Don’t buy anything until you have the ones that make you comfortable with making a financial investment. And if you’re open to cutting a deal, offer up one.
Getting Good Service
Sometimes people find themselves intimidated when it comes to dealing with customer service. They shouldn’t. Being polite yet firm while shopping at your favorite store can sometimes earn you a great discount. If you see a sweater that’s missing a couple of buttons or a book that someone has inadvertently written in, bringing it to the attention of the person at the register, or if necessary their supervisor, may result in you walking out with something 30-40% off of the retail price. More times than not, customer service wants to make you happy. When we leave dissatisfied, it’s often because they didn’t know about it.
Saying Thank You
In acknowledging the effort made for you. Something that only takes a moment is making the time to send a “thank you” note to the supervisor of a customer service agent that went above the call of duty to assist you. And while getting something in return shouldn’t be the motive, a good customer is memorable. Restaurants have been known to send a coupon in reply simply for making the time to acknowledge their work staff.
No matter how you go about your day, you will have to communicate with someone to get something that you need. Aside from money, courtesy is your greatest commodity. Make sure to clearly ask for what you want in a kind manner, fully listen to the person assisting you, be patient and flexible and it just might amaze you the kind of results you get. When you treat people with respect, they often treat you and your money with respect. That’s a winning combination.