by Caitlin D’Aprano
The Art of Negotiation
When I was living and studying in Rome, I was living in this awful house on the outskirts. The area didn’t feel safe and the house itself was not very nice. My friend Marieta was renting this cute little apartment in the heart of Rome, a five-minute walk to class with cafés a step away. Marieta was due to finish her course in a week, so I called the landlord to see if the apartment was available. It was.
The only issue: it was way out of my budget, but I saw an opportunity. All I needed to do was show the landlord how he would be better off to rent me the apartment at a lower rate than to not have the apartment filled at all. I did the figures and worked out that if he didn’t have the apartment filled for 10 days, that would be equivalent to giving me the price I wanted. So I got the deal! He lowered the rent from €1,500 to €1,000 per month.
All it took was a little negotiation.
It is my belief that women absolutely must advocate for themselves and negotiate, whatever the circumstance, whether it’s salary, in business, a holiday, buying a car, buying a house — you name it.
Here are Willpowered Woman’s top 5 negotiating tips:
1. Do a competitive analysis.
Put together a list of businesses that offer the same services you’re looking for, and find out how much each of them costs. Then you can figure out your target budget.
2. Pick the business you most want to work with.
Figure out which business you prefer and has the most of what you want. Then pick the best-quoted price from your competitive analysis and ask the preferred business to match the best price you found. Usually they won’t match exactly what you ask; I am usually willing to go a little higher because they are my business of choice.
3. Be brave.
There is always a certain hurdle within myself that I have to bypass in order to ask for the price that I want, but when I do it, I have noticed that it raises the confidence I have in myself.
4. Remember that there’s no harm in asking.
If someone says no, it’s not the end of the world; you either take the offer as is, or find something else that is better suited. Either way, you haven’t lost anything. The other thing to remember is that most people want to be accommodating.
5. It’s good practice to ask for what you want.
I feel super vulnerable when I ask for the price I want. What if I am asking too much? What if they say no? What if they don’t want to work with me because I am negotiating? These doubts have never turned out to be true!
Willpowered Woman works with, supports and creates community for 18 to 34 year old women without children, who are being abused or have been abused. Visit us at willpoweredwoman.org.