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4 Expert Tips That Will Help You Negotiate Anything Like a Pro

Do you need a favor from a loved one? Think your hard work deserves a higher paycheck? Asking for (and getting!) what you want — from a raise to a lower price — is easy with a few simple tips from our experts. Keep reading to find out how to negotiate your way to satisfaction!

To get a favor: Start small.

Need a big favor? Ask for a smaller one first. It’s called the “Ben Franklin effect” because the founding father famously used it. In fact, Franklin asked to borrow a book from a legislator just so he could later ask the fellow to change his voting habits! How does it work? When folks agree to do a favor, they subconsciously tell themselves it’s because they like the person, and this increases the likelihood of granting future, bigger favors. Another tactic: Appeal to their values, says Heather Hansen, author of Advocate to Win (Buy from Amazon, $18). For example, you might say to your partner, “I know you don’t like it when garbage piles up — would you mind taking it out tonight?” Asking for a favor that benefits you both ensures you’ll get a yes.

To get more money: Use ‘brag bites.’

There are tricks to asking for a raise that all but ensure success. “Women are brought up to be humble, which often makes them hesitant to ask for more money,” says Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma (Buy from Amazon, $13). She says shifting your mindset when you negotiate is as easy as offering what she calls a “brag bite.” Instead of giving vague statements about your work ethic, share one brief, specific detail. For example: “After working with our client for the past four years, I was able to increase their business by 20 percent.” This presents a clear reason why you deserve more pay. And since it’s short and direct, you’ll feel comfortable, which helps you exude the confidence that guarantees success.

To get a lower price: Listen up.

When you want to negotiate a price, be firm — not friendly. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that folks who were direct when asking for a discount spent $35 less than their “warm” counterparts. Turns out sellers assume overly friendly people are more willing to compromise. To be polite yet firm, just keep your offers short and sweet. “Harness ‘the power of the pause,’ ” says Michelle Stewart, editor of The Best Ever Guide to Life. “It’s best to say less and let the seller do the talking. This helps you catch any opportunity for a discount, like if they mention there was a recent sale on the item.” In other words, listening is key to negotiating.

To get results from customer service: Do these 3 things.

Frustrated trying to get satisfaction after a purchase gone wrong? Tell your story, know their policies, and be flexible, says Mike Thompson, customer service expert for HyperLend.

First, instead of leading with anger, share your disappointment. “You might say, ‘I was let down when the shirt didn’t look like the photo,” says Thompson. “Customer satisfaction is their goal, so they’ll do whatever they can to make you happy.”

You’ll also want to have ready the company’s policy, so you’re going in fully informed, says Thompson. “You could say, ‘I know your policy is 30 days for a refund, but X broke on day 32.’ Knowing the facts often sways them to make an exception.”

If plan A is a full refund and the customer service rep won’t budge, offer plan B, such as store credit. If they know you’re willing to negotiate to reach a mutual resolution, they’ll be more likely to make plan A happen after all.

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This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.

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