What do you do if you find yourself attempting to negotiate with someone who does not have the authority to negotiate or make changes? Do not attempt to negotiate, just simply ask for their advice. "What would you recommend…?" or "How would you recommend…?" questions will allow you to seek the individual's advice and counsel, without putting them in the uncomfortable position of not being able to respond.
Take careful notes of the steps you are recommended to follow. Even though the individual may not have a great deal of personal authority, they may be willing to give you the keys to unlocking some of the doors in negotiating. These answers are being given to you without cost. Yet the value and payback can be substantial.