Just Ask

Some recent business dealings have reminded me that asking can result in rewards. This is a lesson long ago imparted by the late Ron Lit. Ron was a wheeler dealer (really – he was a car wholesaler, among other things, as we wrote about in an early post, way back in 1994 https://magnusinsights.com/connections-ron-lit/). Ron told us how he made deals in everything he did, even when buying dress shirts at Macy’s. He offered them a cash deal for 3 shirts that seemed like a low ball deal, about ½ of their posted price, and they took it! Back to my recent experiences, I decided it was time to upgrade our internet to get a faster connection. Because we also have telephone service with Comcast, our internet provider, I decided to ask for better price too. To Comcast’s credit, I didn’t even have to push too hard and they offered me a deal saving over $100 a month for much faster connections. As with many companies, Comcast has a “retention” department which tries to keep customers from leaving. I have dealt with the “retention” department at various companies over the years, but, because I prefer to avoid unnecessary change or to waste time shopping, I had not done so in many years. This deal with them was shockingly easy. I asked, they replied. That’s what competition can do for you. And, more importantly, what asking can do for you. Now, to call about our cell phones…

Ron Lit passed away on Friday, July 13, 2005.  He was also born on Friday the 13th , May 13, 1938 to be exact.  Ron was an enigma; for example, his actual name was neither Ron nor Lit. He had a tremendous impact on both David and me in the years we knew him.  From Ron, I learned the meaning of “it fell off a truck.”  In response to him telling me his new computer fell off a truck, I naively asked if it had been broken when it fell!  Ron also taught us the art of negotiating and along with it, the important lesson “it never hurts to ask.”  I had no idea one could negotiate the price of clothes at Macy’s or, for that matter, any retail store until Ron told me about his long time success in doing this.  David would never have dared to ask Comcast for a better deal if Ron had not instructed us on how to do it.  And, even if the “powers that be” at Comcast had refused to lower our fees, it would have cost David nothing to ask.  This is a good lesson in life.  It never hurts to ask, asking for something may result in getting what you ask for or something else that is valuable, and the worst thing that can happen is that someone will say “No.”  Go ahead. Ask.


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