Dealing With Difficult Vendors
Continued (page 2 of 2)
What to do about those pesky pet names? Dr. Asher has a few ideas: First, make a point of using her first name throughout the conversation. If you think she's forgotten your name, work it into a sentence. If she doesn't catch on, tell her your name. Then say, "I know you work with a lot of people. I thought maybe you forgot my name, because you called me honey."
He's the caterer who charges a dollar a head to serve mixed drinks in glasses rather than plastic cups. Weddings are expensive enough without someone trying to charge you extra for every little thing. So when you come face-to-face with a nickel-and-dimer, heed these words of advice from Dr. Asher: "The best thing to do is kill him with kindness. Avoid the risk of looking like a pushover by being charming, yet assertive." And even if you wouldn't think of giving up that reception site, give him the impression that you're willing to look elsewhere.
Words to Remember
"The key to all negotiation," Nierenberg says, "is everybody wins." So when you run into a vendor with a negative attitude, "pursue a positive attitude." But you say you're not the assertive type? Try the salami method. "If you ask your lunch mate for her whole pack of salami," explains Nierenberg, "she might be offended. Instead, take a slice at a time." In other words, be aware and gracious, and work to find a solution that'll make you both happy in the end.