Scared to fight for the fee you want? Don’t be. You’re built for it.
1. We know a bargain when we see it.
If their offer doesn’t sound good, it probably isn’t. We know how to spot a deal. There’s a reason you purchased that $75 blouse for $22.50. Women are phenomenal at knowing the best time to shop, how to get an extra percentage off on a discounted dress and how to squeeze the most bang out of our buck.
Just because a potential client doesn’t accept your offer right away, doesn’t mean the conversation is over. Go back and rework the proposal to see what you are willing to comfortably eliminate and where you must draw a line in the sand. Think of it like being in your favorite store, where we are natural negotiators. When you notice a button missing on a blouse, you don’t tense up at asking if it can be marked down. Go back and ask the client, if they had to remove something from the proposal to help them save on costs, what it would be.
2. We’re wired for intuitive thinking.
Ever find out something you were thinking was indeed correct and immediately say, “I knew it! I had a feeling …” Most women do. In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study highlighted in Scientific American revealed that “the back of the brain handles perception and the front of the brain handles action; the left hemisphere of the brain is the seat of logical thinking, while the right side of the brain begets intuitive thinking. The findings lend support to the view that males may excel at motor skills, while women may be better at integrating analysis and intuitive thinking.”
Listen to your gut. Is it saying to play or fold? Assess the workload, what it costs you to perform the duties, whether or not the price on the table nets you a profit and then proceed accordingly.
We also fall victim to old pricing scales. Just because you accepted a particular price range for projects when you first started out doesn’t mean that pay scale is still relevant or acceptable at your current stage in business. It’s all about an honest evaluation and striking a balance. Don’t undersell your skills nor overcharge by pricing yourself at a level you hope to reach in the future. Evaluate where you currently are (your expenses, production time, staff) and charge accordingly.
3. If you’re a mom, you know how to stand your ground.
Getting your kid to clear the last of their peas at dinnertime is no small feat. As mothers we try to know when to give and when to stand firm. Negotiation requires the same skills. If you’re a mom, tap into that place of holding your own when you need to and work from that space when negotiations stall. It’s important to allow wiggle room and have that line in the sand you won’t go beyond. If your potential client pushes you to that line, the place where you know working for a price lower than this isn’t worth your time, say so. Not all work is for you, and that is OK.
4. Slapping on a smile through the pain.
When the stakes are high, negotiating can become frustrating. Don’t become hostile or defensive when the conversation isn’t going how you imagined it. It’s acceptable to tell a client you’d like to think it over and continue the conversation on another day.
Keep the client engaged and feeling positive about the ensuing conversation by smiling and remaining polite through the pain points. You’ve had practice at this – menstrual cramps anyone? How many times have you felt bloated, irritable and moody, yet smiled your way through the workday? Channel that same self-control. Don’t leave the client with a bad taste in their mouth. If this particular deal doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean there won’t be chances for something else in the future.