9 Tips on How to Negotiate Like a Woman
In order to keep the spirit of International Women’s Day going for the month of March, we hosted PLATF9RM Business: Negotiate Like a Woman. Our Entrepreneurship Director, Kristina, was joined by Mo Kanjilal, co-creator of Watch this Sp_ce and Sara Sophie Osterholzer, co-founder of The Good Business Club who both shared their experience of negotiating with our audience.
It was an incredibly inspiring and interesting hour, so we wanted to share our 9 key takeaways that will help you on your own journey at the negotiating table:
Know your worth
Putting in the time to work on your self-confidence will help you when it comes to the negotiating table. Knowing exactly what you can bring to the deal or offer discussed, and the value you can add will only give you an advantage. If you’re struggling to get the confidence to articulate your worth, ask a friend you trust to help you.
The initial offer isn’t always the best one
Sometimes the other person is expecting a negotiation on an offer and you may miss out on a better deal by simply not asking. A staggering 60% of women did not negotiate their given salary when taking on a new role.
You never know what you could gain by being forthcoming in what you need. If it’s a no, at least you know you have the best offer they could give.
Everything is a negotiation
Don’t think just because you’re not in sales that this means that negotiation skills aren’t for you. From team management to presenting a project, you’ll find yourself in situations that call for transaction and dialogue. Refining these skills will only help you, so it can’t hurt to try.
Understand what the other person values
What the other person wants out of a negotiation is not always what you think. An awareness of the philosophy and principles that the other person holds will benefit you when it comes to how you approach your negotiation. What these are might take you by surprise and may change your entire technique.
Negotiation isn’t about winning
At its core, negotiation is about providing a solution that is beneficial for both parties. It’s easy to view negotiation as an aggressive tactic, with only one outcome and this is why many people will avoid it. But it’s not about one-upmanship, but rather a mediation where all are heard and both come away with a fair value for their worth.
Practice, practice, practice
Don’t wait until you’re in the hot seat to practice negotiation – you can use small opportunities that are low reward and low risk to refine your style and gain confidence. Try asking for a discount on your next coffee order, or get your children to tidy up their rooms using your newfound skills!
Yield and shield
Go in prepared. Make sure you know exactly what you’re asking for and how to back it. You have to be prepared to give some stuff up or maybe offer something additional. Write up a list of your non-negotiables as well as what you’re willing to compromise on.
This way, whichever way it goes, you won’t walk away feeling like you lost out on what was really important to you.
It’s not always about the money
When negotiating a price point, proposal, or salary – don’t forget to think of the additional non-monetary value that is valuable to you or to the other side. Perhaps your boss really cannot offer you a raise right now, but you feel that you deserve it – can you ask them for something else that would really add value to you? For example, flexible working or a training course.
There’s another option between winning or losing
Many people are riddled with fear just by the thought of asking for a discount, negotiating a salary, or pitching to a client about how much their project is going to cost. Whether it’s a high-stakes situation or not, no one likes to feel rejected.
The problem is, we often think in binary terms and see the result being either getting what we want or being told no and feeling terrible or embarrassed. But in reality, negotiations tend to fall somewhere in the middle.