Biz Success Training


7 Surefire Tips For Improving Your Next Negotiation

There was a recent article regarding the serious lack of negotiation skills which has cost many women as much as $750,000 over the course of their careers. Even though there are a rising number of women graduating with higher degrees and being selected for high level positions in companies; women are still historically paid less than men in the same or similar positions. Whether the positions are part-time or full-time, men are generally earning 20 percent or more than women are paid.


How is this happening? Studies have shown that men are 4 times more likely to ask for higher wages than women with the same qualifications.Men expect more and they are getting it.


Generally speaking, women don’t ask for raises or promotions; preferring to wait until someone else recognizes their achievements. This ‘lone ranger’ attitude follows the women home because many times even in their own home, they don’t ask for help with the household chores or with the children.


Poor negotiations skills are costly for female small business owners too. Women typically come out on the short end of the stick when it comes to negotiating on business premises, hiring employees, contracting agreements with vendors, partners and customers, dealing with banks and in many other areas.


As life presents negotiations of one form or another on a daily basis, it’s worthwhile to learn some basic skills. Here are 7 top tips that you can immediately use to create amazing results in your next negotiations:

  1. First and foremost, decide what you want. Many women approach negotiations thinking about what others might be willing to pay or give instead of thinking about what they want. It’s crucial to be clear on what you want and focus on your desired outcomes.
  2. Think about what you are willing to compromise on, but only if it’s necessary to make a concession. Don’t start out with a concession, but think about where you can be flexible before you begin the negotiations. For example, if you are negotiating for a lower monthly rate on office space; you may be willing to consider a longer lease period or making improvements that will increase the value of the property.
  3. Set your high limits and your low limits so depending on what side of the negotiation you’re sitting on; you know exactly what your highest offer/demand is and what your lowest offer/demand is. Be open to hearing concessions that others are willing to make to you and be prepared to walk away from the deal if it isn’t a good deal for you.
  4. Gather as much information as possible about the person or people with whom you will be negotiating. It’s best to understand other deals that they’ve made, what’s important to them and how they approach people. Prepare yourself according to what you learn about the other person’s style. If you can’t find anything out about them, then quickly size up their body language and mirror it back to them because it instinctively lowers their guard.
  5. Be absolute clear on your strengths and what you bring to the negotiation. Prior to the meeting, write down your top 3 strengths and why they are important. Don’t assume that everyone knows it. As an example, if you are asking for a raise, have a little story about the 3 ways that you contributed to the company in the past year. When possible, include the monetary value of your contribution either in terms of revenues or savings to the company. It’s important to negotiate from a place of strength. Restate your strengths whenever you make a demand/offer.
  6. Approach any negotiation with confidence and optimism. Expect that everything will be worked out in your favour. Be friendly and engaging; listen to the other person and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of what is important to them. Look for how you can match your strengths to their wants.
  7. Keep your cool no matter what happens or what is said. Understand things may be said during negotiations to try to rattle or force you to make concessions. Keep your focus on what you want and what you are willing to do/to give in exchange.

None of us are born negotiators; however, it’s a skill that everyone can learn. You can master this skill by implementing these tips. Re-reading and following these tips before you enter into future negotiations can make the difference between your success and failure.


Susan Bagyura guides women entrepreneurs through their worries, fears and don’t-know-to’s of starting a business to successfully and confidently owning a business.


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