I was recently interviewed by Tomi Lahren, a young and opinionated political commentator who successfully reaches Millennials—which is no easy feat. Tomi revealed that she’s confident enough to take on Hillary Clinton, but when it comes to negotiating a salary increase, she feels paralyzed. Tomi is hardly alone. Many of us are great at telling our friends how valuable their services and ideas are and that they should charge more or ask for a raise. But when given an opportunity to do the same for ourselves, we become tongue-tied and visibly uncomfortable.
Here are three simple steps for negotiating without paralysis.
1. Establish value
Numbers speak for themselves. Even the most hard-nosed boss or business partner can’t argue with winning numbers. Meaning, you must know yours before you start to negotiate. Be prepared with numbers such as your sales figures, the revenue generated because of your decisions, and how much you have already saved the company.
As I told Tomi in the interview, many minutes of advertising are sold because of her ability to reach a particular audience. There is a value to that. When viewership increases, Tomi’s personal value goes up.
What is something you do that makes people live better, spend money, or engage in something? Whatever it is, it has a value. For example, in my Creative Entrepreneur coaching, I help my clients build solid structures so they can grow their businesses. The value of what I offer is saving someone else years of trial and error.
The most important part of establishing value is our ability to clearly, concisely, and without emotion (passion is okay) state our worth. Talk about it like it is nothing. “I am asking for an additional $10,000, or the fee for my service is $7,000,” should sound the same as if you were ordering dinner. “I’ll have the filet mignon.”
2. Get clear
When entering a negotiation of any kind, we want to be clear about what we want. “More money” or “a better title” won’t do much good. How much more do you want? What range would you be comfortable with? What is the precise title you’d like to print on your next business cards?
Write down all your negotiation points ahead of time. It’s perfectly okay to have a cheat sheet or to write a script. When I get on the phone for an Uncovery Session with a potential client, I follow a script proven to have a 50% closing rate. That way I don’t stumble around. If the conversation gets sidetracked, I can bring myself back to the script.
Consider your negotiation as a repeatable task and find the pattern in it. If you have read some of my articles you know I like to German engineer my work. I look for patterns and then I build a structure for my clients with repeatable processes.
3. Say your number first
One of the most effective tricks in negotiations is to be the first to state your number. It’s a psychological tactic. If we want to be paid $5000 but the other person starts the negotiations at $1000, we will instinctively lower our number. So, always give your number first. You’ll get better results.
When marketing ourselves, you have to answer the question the person on the other side of the table is thinking: “What’s in it for me?” You’ll have mastered the art of negotiation when you can assign a monetary value to what you bring, and then explain in simple terms why paying you what you’re asking for makes sense for them.
Also it’s a good idea to practice negotiating so that it looks like no big deal for you. Because it shouldn’t be. We are all people doing our best. The more you practice, the easier it will become. And if you need a confidence boost, here are some tipsI shared recently.
Will you share your negotiating tips with the readers of this article? Let’s help each other become masters at the skill of negotiation together.