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Women and negotiating

  • I was just going to write a blog for WIM on this article - but thought I'd also post it here, since it's about women in the workplace, but many findings and points are really relevant to women in business. tml?em&ex=1194325200&en=fc0c03fe07914c0c&ei=5087%0 A

    My related question to all of you is about negotiating - do you do it often? Do you think women don't negotiate enough? Do you have any tips for negotiating in the business world?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 4th November 2007
  • i keep hoping someone will answer these questions - are we really all just that bad/inexperienced?

    i can negotiate a with a car salesman no problem (much better than my husband!!) but when it comes to myself at work? i have a very hard time...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 6th November 2007
  • I am all over negotiating. In many circumstances. Maybe not always the ones I need to but...I can negotiate a great deal with an antique dealer. I can negotiate with a car salesman (oh, the stories I can share involving taking off to have lunch and breast feeding in the salesman's office!!).

    For work I have to do it often. Not always, but often. I have set prices but there are always exceptions. Or unsolicited bids. I've bid much higher for some projects and had them accepted to my delight. I've also put in bids, done the back-and-forth and come up empty. For a long time I didn't negotiate but, rather, tried to give the lowest possible price for my work. Of course I found it more lucrative when I asked for more but I also discovered that when I was assertive and asked for more my "product" was more respected by most people. That's probably a result of "if it costs more then it must be better."

    I know that when I negotiate I'm seen as hard and even bitchy and maybe even as a bit of a diva. I don't feel bitchy and don't fit the diva mold but I certainly feel firm. I've come to realize that what others perceive isn't going to stop me and shouldn't bother me. As one client recently pointed out I was very tough when we were negotiating price and time but I've turned out to be so easy to work with and so reliable that it was all worth it. When I was negotiating with them I decided to stand firm because I was worth it. I remember being proud of myself for not wavering. And it paid off!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 7th November 2007
  • mandy - this is so awesome to read!

    this is the best: "I was negotiating with them I decided to stand firm because I was worth it."

    So many times we DONT think we are worth it or assume whoever we are negotiating with doesnt think we are. i am so impressed that you not only knew your worth, but you stuck up for yourself and didnt waver! i dont think that's bitchy, i think thats SMART!!! I beleive we CAN negotiate effecitvely with out being seen as a diva/bitch but it's tough.

    can you share any of your tips or proccesses you use for negotiating?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 7th November 2007
  • Kate, it took me a long time to come to the understanding that I am worth it. It wasn't easy and I'm sure I've lost jobs b/c of it, but at the same time I'm now getting more work than ever and at a much higher rate, proving to myself and everyone else that I AM worth it.

    Hmm, tips? Well, I have to feel it out. Don't tell them everything! Guess that goes with many negotiations unless it's a lay-it-all-on-the-line deal. For antiques I say how much I have to spend on something based on what I think it's really worth to me. If they think that's horrible then it's automatically a no-go and I couldn't have afforded it anyway! I low-ball, for sure. Then it goes back and forth and these people are good at that and it's what they expect. It's a good way to work on your negotiating chops! Now that I think about it, I love to wrangle with antique dealers and they do too so it always ends up a win-win (basically!).

    For work, I give an estimate based on the type of work, the client, the time it would take, etc. So I may say I'll do this recording for XXX and deliver it perfectly clean and good to go. Then they say no, X is all we can spend but we want you, blah blah blah. OK, well for XX I'll give you the sound but it will take a few extra days. Oh well, we can't go higher than X.xx and this is where I have to decide if it's worth it for me. What would make it worth it? Well, if I didn't have to spend so much time editing then it's worth it...I hate to turn down work but I'm finally at the point where I can if it doesn't fit my criteria.

    This is a strange example since what I do isn't normal. Recently a client and I had email negotiations regarding a long term project. My hourly rate was accepted after I told them I wouldn't go lower b/c I'd quoted them the lowest I could possibly go already knowing that they were going to be giving me many many hours of work. This was true. Then they wanted to also negotiate my coming in and recording in their own studio. An hour and a half away. For me that doesn't work so I quoted a really high price. He balked, said no way and tried for lower. I lowered slightly and still he said it wasn't in their budget. That was fine with me! If they were willing to pay the price it would have been worth it for me but this way I'm not losing out and their not losing out. They still send me tons of work and we're all happy.

    I don't think I'm answering your question but it would take a whole article and more thought to put my tips down

    -know your worth

    - Know what you're getting into.

    -Be willing to barter options w/in the negotiations (if I spend more time here then I'll spend less time there, but if you give me more then it all gets done).

    -Hold your head up and keep your shoulders back, even if it's email or on the phone. Posture helps you feel more secure in yourself!

    -If you know you're going to be negotiating, do something that empowers you: wear something that makes you feel great, carry a picture/keepsake in your pocket and touch it to remind you of your goal.

    -Set your intention in your head or on paper ahead of time.

    -DON'T give excuses - don't excuse yourself for negotiating and don't make excuses for why you need to negotiate. Just do it (thanks, Nike!) and have confidence.

    -Don't doubt yourself. If this is really what you believe in then stick to your guns.

    -Learn...from yourself, from the person you're negotiating with, from the situation. Use it for the next time. What worked, what didn't?

    Does anyone else have tips to share? My coffee break is over!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 7th November 2007
  • Mandy, those are so great - I just printed out this string - please, on your next break, write up an article with them
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 7th November 2007
  • ROFL nataly - i sent mandy a note and said 'you know nataly is going to just ask you to put this in an article!'

    too funny
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 7th November 2007

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