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I was walking with a friend along a street in Nairobi when we noticed some chopped pineapples. It’s sort of a trending job nowadays to sell already-prepared fruits in town using transparent buckets. So my buddy suggested we buy one each. He offered to buy me.

“How much does a piece go for?” He asked

“It’s usually 10 bob,” I answered. (In Kenya, youths mostly refer to shillings as bob, so instead of saying 10 shillings, we just say 10 bob. But this is up to thousands level; millions and billions are addressed in proper terms, coz, well, that’s a respectable amount of money)

Anyway, we approached the lady and the price was 20 bob a piece, double what we had. Damn, I was already out, thinking if there was a next stop to buy some cheaper ones. Then this pal of mine blurts, “Can’t we get them for 10 bob each?” which the lady politely replies no.

All this while I’m wondering what is wrong with this brother.

Now he smiles broadly at her and gives it a second shot, “and 25 bob? We are two…”

The lady is already smiling and she answers a casual ‘okay’.

I was mesmerized; totally amazed as I scoffed the juicy fruit and couldn’t keep myself from asking my friend how he did it.

I listened as he narrated of how he is usually skeptical too about negotiating deals but decides to do it anyway. He revealed his little secret of how he smiles when negotiating deals, especially those deals no one thinks they can be ‘deals’, like buying a dish at a small hotel. Most of the times, it actually worked for him.

Once he was buying some lunch that’s usually sold at 100 bob, and he asked if it could be done at 70 bob. The offer was accepted without hesitation. That was 30% saved! Another time he bought kales, onions and tomatoes at a grocer’s and asked if the pepper could be done free! And free it was, and actually he got much more pepper for free than he could have had he bought it!

I had learnt something. One is that better things come to those who ask. Ask and it shall be given to you. Never underestimate the power of asking for something, be it a chance, an offer or even a date. Just ask for it.

Two is the power of expression. As you request or engage with anyone, make a smile. It adds to your beauty. Be confident and utilize your eyes: they are the real symbol of courage. It is easier to say yes to a request from a courageous person than from a shy timid guy. (I hope men we are together)

“The man who sees a beautiful girl and keeps quiet will fetch water on her wedding day.” African proverb. Click To Tweet
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