Does the thought of negotiating make you jump up and get involved? Or do you only engage in it when you absolutely have to? It won’t surprise you that thoughts of avoidance are completely normal, but the great news as that if this is you, you can learn to love negotiating, or at least not hate it.
Sadly, most of us didn’t learn this skill in school, and yet we are expected to be proficient in it. We have price tags for most things in life, yet we are meant to be confident to ask for a great deal at the car yard. And, as business owners, we’re meant to feel comfortable negotiating our rates and not losing our nerve. Add to that, as women, we have a disposition to be people pleasers so struggle with the concept on a number of levels. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want to shift towards learning to love negotiating, it’s good to identify what type of negotiator you are. In my experience there are four negotiator profiles. Read on to find out what they are.
If the thought of negotiating makes you wish it would stop and seek a price tag for everything! As an Avoider, you are unlikely to shift to loving negotiating, but you can start with little requests. When in stores that say they negotiate for cash, ask the salesperson, ‘Is there anything you can do on the price?’
Be prepared for their response: “Yes” Perfect, thank you!, or “No” Ok, no problem, just thought I’d ask.
If you are confident in other aspects of their life but have a block when it comes to negotiating – you are likely to be a Dabbler. Those with this profile will dabble in a negotiation but typically pull back at the slightest resistance, apologise for having asked and step away kicking themselves that they didn’t get what they wanted. This is the most common profile of Australian negotiators, with the greatest opportunity for growth.
If this is you, build your confidence by preparing for negotiations with a written plan. Note down what you want, why you are entitled to it, where your flexibility is, etc. Armed with this, you can step up to the negotiating table with a cheat sheet to help keep your nerve.
Negotiators who are prepared to give anything a go, but sometimes push a little too hard, are referred to as an Adventurer. The key to evolving your negotiation proficiency is to focus on a fair and reasonable exchange of value, rather than on securing a great deal for you.
Master negotiators are likely to be using this skill often in their day job, or it is their day job. They are encouraged to help others learn to love negotiating.
Knowing your negotiator profile can help you approach negotiations more consciously, shift your mindset, and build your confidence a little each time you step to the negotiation table.
If you’d like to explore this further, you can discover your negotiator profile by taking a short quiz here.
About the author
Author and strategist, Sam Trattles is a Commercial Deals Negotiator who has closed upwards of $450M in deals across sport, music, the arts, philanthropy and grass roots programs. She works with business leaders, sponsor brands and those seeking partners, helping them create strategies that drive efficiency and deliver great returns, because it’s worth a great deal.
For more information about Sam Trattles’ negotiating firm, Other Side of the Table, click here. You can even download a FREE chapter from her book there too.
To buy her book, I Love Negotiating, click here.
For more information about Sam’s Negotiation Fundamentals course, click here.