How Much Are You Asking?

By Mike Johnson

Jim never paid full price for anything. Every Monday we'd hear about another great deal he'd negotiated over the weekend. This time it was a boat. Worth about $3,000, he'd gotten it for $1,500.

When you hear stories like that, you're skeptical. So you listen & learn.

Jim's strategy was amazingly simple, but incredibly effective. He'd read the classifieds & discovered what looked like a great deal. He called the owner & verified the boat might indeed be a good value.

Then he asked two simple questions that made all the difference.

How much are you asking? What will you take?

Jim said that 75% of the time, those two questions would shake the price lower.

Armed with this new, lower price, Jim then set the appointment to look at the boat. Prior to leaving the house, he armed himself with enough cash to purchase the item - for a few hundred dollars less than the price on the phone.

Upon arrival, he looked over the craft & appeared interested. He asked the price one more time (sometimes it drops again!) & then slowly reached into his pocket & pulled out cash - all hundred dollar bills. Then he slowly counted it to himself in front of the seller. When he finished counting, he was of course, several hundred dollars short.

Here came the final question.

"Oh," he mumbled disappointed he didn't have enough money.

"$1,800? All I have is $1,500. Would you take $1,500 in cash, now?"

The seller's mind started spinning on ice. He looked at the cash. He thought of how long he'd been trying to sell the boat. He felt the fear of getting nothing if he didn't accept. He looked at the money again. Then he took it.

Jim had gotten his bargain. And one more person had settled for far less than their value.

That's the same type of underpayment many of us accept as we go through life. We fail to realize that along the path to our dreams, we're going to encounter lower offers.

Perhaps it's the career - we really wanted to become a CPA, but it was too difficult to turn down that night auditor position.

Or maybe the car - we desired a Corvette, but compromised with a Cordoba.

Or the relationship - while searching for a soulmate, we settled for a housemate.

The higher we hold our own self-worth, the easier it is to demand more from life. Because the truth is, the only limits to what life will pay, are the limits of what we think we are worth.

We set the price in every area of our lives.

How much are you asking? What will you take?


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