The “squeaky wheel gets the grease”, so to speak. Or, in some instances, “loose lips sink ships”. These concepts apply in so many aspects of life, when your decision to speak up can either help you out or potentially negatively impact you.
Focusing on the positive aspects of speaking up, there are many situations in which it can really help. One such context is public speaking in your career, when having the willingness to speak up and learn how to do it well can be beneficial to making money.
Of course, as we know, it’s about both making money and saving money. For the latter, it can also help to be willing to speak up. In some cases, there can be very little downside to asking for discount. If we stop and think about it, once we get past our fears of looking “cheap” or getting rejected, the end result will most likely be either status quo or better.
And sometimes, just by having a conversation, good things could happen.
I’ve written about asking for a discount previously, in an article on asking for discounts at restaurants as well as in this article on asking for a discount on a mattress. But it’s been a while, so I have yet another example of speaking up to save!
This time, the setting was downtown (Chicago), where I had an appointment. Unfortunately, parking downtown can be incredibly expensive. Now, I would normally think about using a parking app to try to save money by reserving a spot, but I went downtown on relatively short notice and simply forgot to do so in the rush. So, as I arrived there, I pulled into a garage knowing it would be pricey.
The prices at this particular garage were really steep though. I was going to be there a little bit less than 3 hours, for which I would be expected to pay $44. Yes, you read correctly: $44 for 3 hours of parking! Welcome to Chicago…or for that matter New York, San Francisco, etc.
There was a way out of it though. Or, at least a way out of being gouged. The garage was attached to a retail store, thus the parking rates sign had a line saying that with validation and a $10 purchase, you could park for 3 hours and pay $15.
So, if I quickly zipped into the store after my appointment and spent $10, I could effectively park for $25 and get some merchandise in the process. Not cheap and not ideal, but it’s better than $44!
But then I started thinking……in my limited time available in the store after my appointment, I would have to hurry up and find something in order to make it out within the 3 hour window. And realistically, it’s not like I’d find something useful for exactly $10. Maybe something would be $15, or $20. So that parking price might end up being in that $40+ range anyway.
Clever pricing scheme, indeed!
So, here’s what I did to save money. Before even buying anything, I walked up to an information/concierge desk and asked if this is where I am supposed to get the discount. The guy said “Yes”, and asked me if I had the parking ticket. I said yes, and gave it to him, but then said I hadn’t purchased anything yet.
He then proceeded to stamp it with the validation, and gave it back to me.
Notice how there was no receipt involved, or any purchase necessary. I didn’t even ask for it directly. I just engaged him in some conversation by asking a question, and he validated the parking ticket.
Instantly, $29 was saved, which represents savings of nearly 66%!
Now, this may really be more of an example of good customer service. It might not be equivalent to the best customer service experience I’ve ever had, but this is really good nonetheless! Or, it could have been his mistake. Regardless, as far as I’m concerned, the employee was doing his job well and representing the store the right way in terms of long-term customer value and creating a true win-win.
Yet another example of how if you just ask – or at least start a conversation – you can get a discount!
My Questions for You
Do you try to ask for discounts?
What is your best example of obtaining a discount?