How To Get What You Want

January 26, 2012

It was difficult for me not to scream, in fact, if my two colleagues weren’t standing beside me, I would have lost my cool.

You see, I booked a room with two queen beds at a 4 star hotel through expedia.ca for myself and two other ladies.  When we arrived, the front desk informed us that we had booked a room with one king size bed.   It didn’t matter that my booking paper showed 2 queen beds.

I was so mad I was ready to yell all kinds of obscenities to this poor employee.  But I kneww it will not solve my problem.  My goal was simple – I wanted a room with 2 beds to accommodate 3 ladies.

The challenge?  The hotel was fully booked due to the conference we were about to attend.   So the only solution was to find someone, a guest  who can trade their queen beds for a king.

I took a deep breath, assessed the situation and applied these old fashion negotiating skills.

1. Control your emotion – human emotion and reaction destroys negotiation and get you out of focus.  As difficult as it may seem, you must try to be calm – force yourself to be calm.

2. Prepare yourself – before charging ahead, take a moment to collect your thoughts, take a deep breath and adjust your posture.

3. Who is the decision maker – don’t waste time negotiating with the wrong person.  You can plead, argue or do whatever you want, but if the person cannot help you – your effort will be for naught.

In this case,  although Expedia clearly made a big mistake,  the front desk can’t do anything.  So I asked to speak to the night manager on duty.

4. Focus on your goals –  it’s very easy to get distracted,  but keep your goal in mind. This is definitely  not the time to prove who is right or wrong – focus on the goal.

  • 3 things to keep in mind; your goals, who are the decision makers and what will it take for you to persuade them.
  •  Don’t try to establish relationship if it doesn’t bring you closer to that goal. The goals are what you want to accomplish and nothing else.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t deal with other issues, feelings, needs, interest or anything else unless it brings you closer to your goals.

5. Make an eye contact – human contact is powerful.  Crack a smile if you can. It’s the best way to disarm someone.

6. Know who is in charge. Honor and acknowledge the other persons’ position and power .  The biggest mistake you can make is to try to show them who is in charge.  Respect those who are in charge and value their position.  You need their help so this is not the time to play up your ego.

To make a long story short, I was able to persuade the duty manager that it will give me great discomfort to try to fit in the middle of two wiggly ladies while trying to get enough sleep for the conference.

By the time we reached our guest room, the phone rang and we were told that someone agreed to relinquish his two queen beds for  a king.

I got what I wanted, and the hotel manager got a big thank you.  And Expedia, I hope you are reading this!

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