“Is that the best you can do?”

Entrepreneurship is one of our themes this session, part of the Quest to write and peddle a “Bestselling Book.”

Today many of our Eagles learned how to haggle – the art of buying something at a discount – as a Friday Adventure earned by delivering their “best work” on a week’s worth of difficult challenges.  Many were successful; some failed; but all learned to overcome the fear of asking for a discount.

So what prepared our Eagles to haggle?

First a series of readings and on-line experiences on Unit Economics, learning to set price and to calculate revenues, variable costs, contribution, fixed period expenses and primary sunk investments – and more importantly – break even; payout and total profits.

Then playing the Acton MBA PricePoint game, a difficult online simulation where Eagles battled each other as they learned to start, avoid and survive price wars, honing the skill of setting marginal prices in that slippery region between maximizing profits and encouraging competitors to enter.

Next, Eagles read Everyone Needs a Little RLC – a note that describes the “rat-like-cunning” that entrepreneurs develop in the marketplace: enjoying the art of selling; reading people; haggling; not paying cash; protecting your downside and collecting free options.

Finally, Eagles prepared for battle with role plays, asking: “Is that the best you can do?” after a price was quoted and sitting in silence, for as long as it takes, to receive a discount.  And then it was off to used bookstores; used sporting goods stores and other retail outlets and bazaars to work on haggling in the real world!

Does haggling work?  It does for Eagles.  Simply by politely asking and tolerating silence, many Eagles received discounts of 40%; 50% and in one case 71% off list price.  Some Eagles even received major discounts at a popular sandwich shop for lunch.

Today’s lesson?  That simply by having the courage to ask politely and take advantage of the motivating power of marginal economics, you can  reduce you average daily cost of living by 50% or more.

Not a bad lesson for young heroes, preparing to take the real world by storm.





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