It works — sort of.
I’d always heard that one of the best negotiating tactics was the willingness to walk away.
I’ve tried it a few times, without any success at all. At least not what would have felt like success in that moment.
There was the time that I sat down with the car salesman to buy a Mini Cooper. The sticker price was $29,999, and the paperwork he handed me said $34,999. I looked and found the $5,000 “demand fee.” “What’s this?” I asked? He told me how hot the cars were right now, and how supply was not keeping up.
I said, “So it’s a because-you-can fee?!” I got up and left.
According to negotiating 101, he was supposed to call me back in a few days and offer me some concession. I never heard from him. And although I said at the outset that I’ve had no success; you could say the universe was looking out for me by not giving me what I thought I wanted. That’s something I occasionally do with disappointments — I Monday-morning quarterback them into wins. In this case, by not getting a Mini Cooper, I ended up getting a sweet deal on an Audi A4 Turbo that was a rather hideous metallic blue that no one else wanted. It was a lot of fun to drive, until the warranty ran out and everything that went wrong cost over $1,000 to fix — and 3 of those type of things went wrong in rapid succession.
I’ve tried to apply this strategy romantically, too: the walk-away strategy. Like the time I went over to my boyfriend Matt’s new townhouse that he’d just moved into: the townhouse he asked me to shop for furniture with him for, and to help him figure out paint colors. That was huge at our one-year dating mark. We didn’t do things like that together — we mostly hiked, backpacked and did outdoorsy stuff. He taught me to fly fish. I was a single mom, working in an executive management role, and going to school at night to finish my degree. Which means, I was probably not so chill when I met him as planned at his place that night, and…whaaat? A new dining room table!? Paint swatches taped on walls…what?? Matt’s adult daughter, who did not live with him, showed a sudden interest in his place, so she got to be interior…