People are often more powerful than they realize. We live in a world of high competition which bodes well for us as consumers. As for employment, there is also high competition but most companies that are worth working for will go above and beyond to retain quality talent. There might be a lot of good employees out there but there are tons of crappy ones too. These current trends give us an excellent opportunity to use leverage in our lives to better our situations.
How I’ve Used Leverage At Work
I wish I could give you folks a top secret trick here on how I use leverage at work. But honestly, I did it by showing up on time, getting stuff done, and by getting along with people. No gossip, no trash talk, just work. Only once did I have to speak up about pay, about three years in or so. I didn’t raise a big stink, just mentioned it to my boss and he ran it up the ladder. I had never mentioned money or griped about anything of the sort so he took it seriously. A day or two later, magically that pay bump happened. Mind you it wasn’t earth shattering, but it was what I felt was fair and the going rate at the time. I know he certainly didn’t want to lose me to a competitor.
Fast forward several years (about 7), and it is time to move to a new city. My wife lands a sweet new gig that we can’t refuse. I have a heart to heart with the boss and tell him the unfortunate (for him) news that I will be leaving in a few months. He was pretty down about it but then asked if I had ever thought about working from home. I’d be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind but I played it somewhat dumb anyways. I said I would be potentially interested in doing that if it would work for the company. So again he ran it up the corporate food chain and he came back and said it was approved.
The funny thing is that I don’t love my job. I don’t even like it on most days. But I do enjoy saving money and investing and this job allows me to do that. By utilizing decent job performance over the past years, I was able to leverage myself into better situations. I didn’t have to stress out about finding a new job immediately when arriving to this new city. I wouldn’t have had to anyways due to the way we’ve saved through the years but you get my drift. Once you are established at a job, don’t be afraid to ask for things. You might be surprised to find out just how valuable you are.
Using Leverage As A Consumer
Businesses want your money and they need it more than ever right now. Have you heard how the auto market is suffering these days? If you are looking for a vehicle, use this to your advantage! We bought a new vehicle a few months ago, sorry Mustard Seed Money! He’s all about the used cars and I don’t blame him. Fiscally that is the smart move but we ended up going new this time. Anyways, I must have emailed and called 10-15 dealers in a 500 mile radius. I told them exactly what I wanted and needed their bottom line, no BS best price. I made them well aware that they were in competition with each other. We were happy to find that our closest dealer eventually came through with the best price and we put a deal together. Leverage the competition and make them earn it.
Another fun dance I do is with our TV bill. I’ve been a long time Directv customer, mainly for the NFL Sunday Ticket. I intentionally stay out of contract so I can negotiate a better deal. This usually involves threatening to cancel and go elsewhere until I can get that Sunday Ticket for free or close to it. One year I did get it for free and also a discounted monthly rate. I must have had my “A Game” for that call. Directv has been playing hardball lately, perhaps due to the AT&T merger? This reminds me that it is almost time to do battle again as the season is almost here.
Did you know that cell phone data overage charges can be negotiated? I didn’t until a few days ago when my boss called Verizon and split the difference on a thousand dollar corporate phone bill overage. Apparently one of our VP’s just needed to watch Game Of Thrones and did it without WiFi. Unbelievable isn’t it? I think my wife and I have only gone over our data limit once and it wasn’t much. But if you get in a jam, claim ignorance and beg for mercy. And if that doesn’t work, threaten to switch companies. The squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.
The Best Leverage Of All Is Financial Security
It’s amazing the power and freedom one can have when their finances are in order. Little or no debt usually equals little or no stress. One that doesn’t need a crappy job probably isn’t going to have one, at least for long. Being secure could mean the ability to take advantage of opportunities that others cannot at the time. Things like moving to another country or maybe spontaneously snatching up a cheap rental unit that just hit the market. When you have the cash, you can be flexible. Money isn’t everything but it is a tool that can stack things into your favor. Try some of these methods to gain more chips on your side of the table.