Negotiating is an art that very few people bother to master these days.
As a strategic connector, my work is centred on designing ideas and negotiating ways to implement them.
Not only do I have to engage the right people, I’ve got to connect with them to the point that they’re willing to jump on board and work with me, meaning I’m frequently involved in negotiations.
But I often find that when it comes to negotiating women, unfortunately, are not as effective as their male counterparts. Why is this? And how can we use our unique skills as women to lead the way on how negotiating to win is really done.
The below five tricks should help:
- Self Promotion. Negotiations are a time to step outside of your comfort zone and let everyone know what you have done and how good you are. This requires you to be objective and see yourself as a product to sell. So make sure your website, LinkedIn profile etc are top notch and full of relevant details.
skilled negotiator needs to be a great marketer of their own brand. You need to believe in your product wholeheartedly, and that you are the best person for the job/project (and worth every cent!).
- Call bluff. An experienced negotiator may try and ask too much of you, give the impression you have no other option other than to agree, or simply try and bully you. Make sure you have a back up plan in place (another client, job or money saved) so you can call bluff and stand your ground on what you deserve. Be firm but fair.
Businesses often cry poor, which is a strategic move to pull on the heartstrings of the more sympathetic female employee. Don’t be fooled. This is business.
- Research. Of course, to achieve a win-win you need to do your research on the other party you’re negotiating with. You then need to demonstrate a connection between what they are wanting (in business) and how you are the one that can deliver (above and beyond).
For example, find out what other people are being paid for the same job/position and articulate an offer that is above and beyond that. Give them a clear reason to say ‘Yes’. This is where your ongoing self-promotion over time will pay off.
- Ask for the Bakers Shop. You must always “Ask for the Bakers shop to get a loaf of bread”.
Don’t go into negotiations with what it is you are willing to settle for, but rather what you dream for. And once you’ve got that conversation started remember to stick to your guns.
This will give you leg room to negotiate down a little. Although always remember your worth!
- Know how to handle a no. Remember that for every no there is a yes around the corner. Whether it is you that needs to say no (and yes you will need to practice declining on job offers if they are not reaching your expectations) or you have been told no, just move on to the next challenge and start at step one again.