Want a higher salary, a better title, or even just lower bank fees? The key is negotiation, and author and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi is the man to show us how. Negotiation is a big part of his book “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” Some of the lessons it teaches, he learned from his parents.
Recently, the New York Times interviewed Sethi’s parents as part of an article on raising financial gurus. In conversation with writer Ron Lieber, they provided a few tips on how to get more for your money.
Lesson No. 1: Always bargain.
“A running theme throughout Ramit Sethi’s book, blog and courses is the idea that we should all negotiate like Indians do,” writes Lieber. “When I asked his mother, Neelam Sethi, whether anyone might take offense to the idea, she seemed surprised.”
Negotiating, Neelam Sethi told Lieber is part of the Indian way of life.
“That’s the way we grew up,” she said. “You never purchased anything without bargaining, whether it was milk or eggs or fruit.”
Lesson No. 2: Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.
Her son often tells the story of how his father spent days negotiating for a better price on a car, a big-ticket purchase that was rare for their family. After several trips, Sethi senior and the salesman agreed on a price, only to have the salesman try to charge extra for the floor mats. When Prab Sethi refused to pay more, the salesman initially suggested he just get the mats at Walmart. Needless to say, they skipped the trip to Walmart, and came away with the original mats — at no extra price.
“He didn’t mind being a little uncomfortable,” his son said.
Lesson No. 3: Ask for what you want.
Ramit Sethi often encourages his readership to “Negotiate like an Indian,” which means, essentially, being up front about what you want.
“If you bargain like an Indian, what you’re saying is that I’m willing to ask for what I want,” he told the Times.
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