OK. You have decided to go on a cruise. You know where you want to go, when you want to leave, the size of the ship and the level or general price of the accommodations. So you are ready to call and book your cruise, right?
Before entering a negotiation you need to know a little bit about the perks or incentives you should ask to be included. While the basic cost of the cruise is often set there are extras you should be aware of to enable you to negotiate the best deal.
How do you decide what to ask for? Here’s a tip:
Call several travel agents and tell them you are considering booking the cruise. Then ask them why you should book through them. Not only will they tell you that they can get you a great price, they will also likely share with you all the extra perks they can get from the cruise line. It is the perks you are interested in learning about.
Now you know what is reasonable to ask for when you book direct. Anything that the travel agents can get you should be able to get but only if you know to ask.
The key in any transaction-based negotiation is to know what is reasonable to request in terms of discounts, added value concessions or perks, or other incentives. These extras can make the sticker-price of the cruise more viable.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the importance of doing your research to be prepared to negotiate effectively.