With the exciting news of our 2015 Entrepreneurs Summit spreading to women business owners all across the Metro New York area and beyond, it is as good a time as any to share some really great articles from one of our favorite business publications here at MACs Women's Group; Inc. Magazine. We all know that keeping abreast of what's happening in your industry and in the entrepreneurial space is paramount to the continued success of your brand and reading is one of the ways you continue to grow.
This morning as I read through the many beneficial articles on Inc.com, written by our Women's Summit Keynote speaker, Michael E. Gerber, author of the best-selling business book, E-myth Revisited, whom Inc.Magazine has called the "World's No.1 Small Business Guru." I came across this special report that you might find beneficial also as a business woman entitled: Toughen Up, Ladies: 7 Ways to Be a Better Negotiator. Not to worry, we will be sharing lots of those great articles by Michael E. Gerber and our other expert presenters over the next days and weeks!
In the meanwhile, if you are a woman business owner who gets anxious at the thought of negotiating, below are some tips to help you negotiate more successfully—and more confidently:
Don't Lower Your Fee. Give Something Away.
Say a prospective client isn't happy with the figure you quote for upcoming employee training. Rather than lowering your rate, create incentives with free additions that sound generous but are actually low cost and low effort to you.
For example, throwing in two one-hour follow-up webinars to reinforce the training helps a prospective client feel they get much more for their money. You, on the other hand, will not incur travel cost or substantial preparation time.
Be willing to flex and bend while staying firm where it matters most.
Arm Yourself With Data.
When we know our stuff—average costs, delivery times, market trends and forces—we all tend to sit up a little straighter. We naturally have more belief in what we say, and we advocate more persuasively.
When they negotiate with a manufacturer, for example, strong negotiators make it a point to reference competing manufacturers' rates and practices. This "comparison crunch" shows the manufacturer you know the market, you won't be taken advantage of, and that your survival doesn't hinge on his business alone.
Call On Delays When Needed.
Just because you're well informed doesn't mean you will be ready to make a deal with an absolute "yes" or "no." In fact, you may be unsure just how right the terms truly are. Sometimes we just need to think things through or to involve someone not at the negotiating table.
There is nothing wrong with saying, "I'll think about that and get back to you.''
Taking a step back is never more important than in a ''drive-by'' negotiation where you're surprised or spontaneously engaged. If you're pressured to make a decision in a short time frame, then negotiate to lengthen the window.
And if you're ever hesitant about the conditions of a deal, either delay your response or refrain from saying "yes."
The old negotiating adage still rings true: if you dislike the terms now, you'll hate them later!
Staying quiet for a few seconds is most important at two critical junctures in a negotiation: Right after you make a request, and right after your counterpart answers.
That means you must deliver your "ask" cleanly and clearly. And it doesn't mean hesitating afterward only to add words to lessen your request or soften the blow.
It also doesn't mean tossing in a qualifier to soften the blow, like, "... if you can afford it." If they can't afford it, they'll tell you.
Use Your Eyes.
Maintaining consistent, direct eye contact says volumes about your level of engagement and your focus on the discussion at hand.
Maintaining eye contact also shows you're confident in your position and that you see your counterpart as a peer and equal. Eye contact is especially important if and when the conversation gets contentious.
Be polite, be courteous, and be professional, but don't back down.
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