My 14-year-old daughter is The World’s Toughest Negotiator. (Consider yourself forewarned.) She’s held the title for the past 12 years. I think she’d be a magnificent Hollywood agent, and as of last week she wants to attend UCLA and major in psychology.
What’s the secret to her negotiating success?
It’s simple: she asks for what she wants and doesn’t stop asking until she gets it,.
But it doesn’t always work. On Saturday night, for example, she wanted to stay at the county fair until 11 p.m. — our curfew for the fair is 10 p.m. She sent me multiple texts and called me twice, but I didn’t budge. I picked her up at 10 and on the way home in the Jeep, she continued: “Why couldn’t I stay until 11? All my friends were staying. I wasn’t hanging out with bad kids. Give me a good reason.”
“Nothing good happens after 10 o’clock,” I said.
“Nothing bad happens either,” she said. I laughed.
When we got home, my wife received the same line of questioning.
“You owe me a good reason,” daughter said.
“No I don’t,” my wife said.
Finally, our daughter gave up.
And you’re not always going to get what you want in a negotiation. But you’ll rarely — if ever — get what you want if you accept the first “no.”
The next time you’re in a negotiation, remember my daughter. Let me know how you did.