Money Monday: Doing the Nibble

I listened to this Planet Money podcast over vacation on the power of persuasion. The negotiation tactic that really resonated with me was ‘the nibble’ because it seems so easy and natural. Nibbling is used to ask for a tiny bit more when a deal is close to done or final.

The example given in the podcast centers around an overbooked flight, wherein the airline offers quite a bit of cash to anyone willing to take another flight. The call for participants starts at $300, then $500, ultimately capping at a $1,000 voucher for a future flight. The exemplary negotiator in this case not only scores the voucher, but continues to request additional sweeteners: a first class seat on his next flight, hotel for the night, dinner for the night, and car service to pick him up from the airport the next day and bring him home.

My personal example is when I bought a couch and a couple chairs from a furniture store many years ago. The sales person was writing everything up when I asked, “Can you throw in free delivery since I’m buying all this stuff?” He didn’t even blink and said no problem.

Doesn’t hurt to ask.