• Mark Olivito

The Crazy One’s: “Retail Negotiating”

This picture seems innocent enough right? A customer (who is also a colleague of mine) contemplating their order at the Golden Arches.

While working the graveyard shift (2:30pm – 5am) we made an 11pm run to Dunkin Donuts and Mcd’s to keep the troops fueled, productive and a very small thank you.


This is a fun little drill I subject select people too…..

“Retail Negotiating:”

Trying to get a deal for basic things, where deals are never cut. It will drive 99% of the population crazy, and create a fair amount of embarrassment.

And of course, I love it.

Your looking to engage. And Score. And make a little life moment.

  • A free donut.

  • A cheaper price on the $ menu.

  • Throw in something extra.

  • See what your server is made out of.

Here’s the Negotiating Drill in action:

  • $80 of Mcd’s is a ton of food. What’s the average ring, $7? Time to have some fun.

  • Shouldn’t they give us 4 large cups of ice for free?

  • Shouldn’t they throw in apple pies for free?

  • Wouldn’t walking away with just our $80 purchase put us in the rest of the 99% of America, the sane?

I put my colleague to the task, providing nice “encouragement” while she assessed me as borderline pathological. But she was game to try….and here’s what we learned.

  • She needed to pull out her Spanish on the manager.

  • She also found out they do $10k in revenue per day, a number I would not have guessed (and I’m skeptical of). And we were the largest sale of the day.

  • She got 4 extra large cups of ice thrown in for free. And about 5 free apple pies. But this was after being told we would be charged for the Ice.

To borrow an expression from the New School? BOOM! She got something done. We laughed. We learned a couple of things we didn’t know.

  • Dunkin Donuts was tougher. Elmo was our server, and how can you not like a server named Elmo? He said he’d lose his job. I told him our people are working with heavy machinery and the caffeine he’s providing is an enormous safety issue, he won’t lose his job. He laughed to himself. He thought we were crazy. He may be right.

  • We worked hard to get 4 coffee rolls put into our 2 dozen donuts without paying the incremental charge. Maybe a $.75 win. But a win nonetheless.

These are fun little moments in life. Chances to interact with people and push them out of their comfort zone.

Little moments make days stand out, for the negotiatOR and the negotiatEE.

Opportunities are everywhere to learn something. To make an impact. To attack life with energy. And maybe…. create a few smiles along the way.

Hustle knows no off days.

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