Let's Make a Deal: Claire
Dr. Phil speaks with guests about how to negotiate for what they want.
Last season you watched the cameras follow Claire as she shopped for a car stereo. (Remember that show?) Claire said she hated negotiating because she didn't want to take away the salesman's commission. She told Dr. Phil, "I want to believe that people are honest, and that they will give me the best price." But her husband went shopping for the same stereo and got it for $80 less, just by asking for it. Now Dr. Phil follows up with Claire to see if she's gotten any better at making deals.


Claire says last season Dr. Phil gave her some tools to help her negotiate, but she still views bargaining as lying for money. She tells Dr. Phil, "It's a total manipulation."


That's exactly why Dr. Phil has brought her back. "You think it's lying, but you've got to know the rules so you can play the game." He brings in an expert negotiator, Herb Cohen, to coach Claire toward a win-win negotiation. Herb is the author of several books on negotiating, including Negotiate This! By Caring, But Not T-H-A-T Much. Dr. Phil wants to show Claire that with a few tips from Herb, she can make a deal and even enjoy the process.
Dr. Phil sends Claire jewelry shopping with a hidden camera. Meanwhile Herb watches from a van outside. When the saleswoman puts a bracelet — costing $1050 — around Claire's wrist, Claire comments how lovely it is. "Look at that," says Herb. "She wants Claire to fall in love with this bracelet. This should not be an emotional purchase."


Claire tells the saleswoman that it's a little over her budget. Herb points out that salespeople like to start out at a certain price range, and then show items that go up in price. "What I hope Claire would do is select what she wants, and then get down to negotiating for that item," says Herb.


Claire is able to get the price of the bracelet down $100, to $950, but she doesn't buy it. Dr. Phil sends her back to the jeweler, but this time with a hidden camera and an earpiece, so Herb can talk her through it.

With Herb's help, Claire starts off by complimenting the saleswoman about her grandchildren, whose photos are displayed behind the counter. Then Herb instructs Claire to tell the salesperson that she's made some price comparisons. "We went to that big place down the road. And I saw something really similar, which was for $550 ... But I remembered the quality of your piece," Claire says. "But I need your help here to make it a good deal."


The saleswoman leaves to consult with her husband and then gives an initial offer of $900. Herb instructs Claire to tell the saleslady that she's shocked at the price. Then he coaches her, "Claire, take out the money. Put $650 on the table in cash." Claire fans the money out on the table and they continue to go back and forth negotiating about the price. The saleswoman then calls her husband over for reinforcement.


With Herb's guidance, Claire makes an offer of $770. The salesman and Claire continue to negotiate until Herb tells Claire, "Tell him, 'Come under 800 and you've got a deal.'" The salesman barely budges with an offer of $799. Claire makes a final offer of $795. Laughing, the salesman agrees and shakes her hand.

Back in the studio Claire tells Dr. Phil that it felt like an eternity to get under $800, and she would have been happy with $900. "How do you feel now that you have the bracelet on your arm, and $250 in your pocket?" asks Dr. Phil.


"Well, putting it that way, that feels good," replies Claire, who's concerned about what people think of her since she haggled. "I would be embarrassed to ever come across them again."


Dr. Phil challenges Claire's thinking: "You said before that this is about a relationship with these people. What that means is you're willing to pay them $255 to pretend that they liked you for 10 minutes. The truth is, a good deal is one where both of you feel OK, and neither of you feels like you just got beat up and pummeled. It was a fair deal." Dr. Phil points out that she didn't pay the sticker price, and they still liked her. In fact, they probably respected her.