Prior to selling our house this week, we had a yard sale. There are three questions we were asked by yard sale attendees that I believe are really relevant to association management too:
1. Are the prices firm or flexible? Clearly regular yard sale attendees like to know if there is flexibility in pricing. I thought it was actually really easy for them to find out, just by asking. Anytime you get a quote for anything, ask if it's "firm or flexible." You might get a lower price just by asking.
2. Do you have (fill in the blank)? Several asked for very specific things they collect - such as glassware, vinyl records, and buttons. It makes sense to always ask if someone has (fill in the blank) if you don't see it. The best example is in meeting planning - if there is a special dessert, a type of sandwich, a buffet item, or even certain centerpieces you don't see anywhere in the meeting planner kit or banquet menus - ask if the facility has it or can do it.
3. Would you sell (fill in the blank) for (fill in the blank)? Someone asked to buy the lawnmower in our garage for a specific price. We had not considered selling our lawnmower, but might have at a particular price. If there is something you want to buy, make an offer to whoever has it - they might just say yes. Or at least you'll know what price it would take for them to say yes. For example, if you're at an event and would like to use or own something that organization has, offer to buy it.