I am a huge proponent of negotiating, so much so, I created Propelled by Possibility around championing those who have had a gap back to work with a focus on negotiating. Not just their salaries, but all those additional forms of compensation we do not ask for. My heart lies with stay at home moms as that is a journey I share.
I was a stay at home mom for 12 years before returning to the workforce. After 11 years, I not only got back into the workforce but over the last 3 ½ years progressed to management and over the last 2 ½ years I created my business. What made the most difference was negotiating all along the way. I now champion others along their journey. As women we are better champions of others than ourselves in our own journeys.
I used to think it was not a good idea to give away a bit more information as an entrepreneur. I have grown to learn that value creation includes three main areas: trust, questions and giving away a bit more information. Giving away more information facilitates inspiring trade-offs.
I follow two Canadian Women entrepreneurs who inspire me to champion negotiating, Michele Romanow and Manjit Minhas.
Michele is quoted as saying – “So when we talk about a hand up, for me it is giving women the skills they need to negotiate for the rest of their careers. It’s the biggest gift you can give.”
Manjit shares – “Negotiation is not something we are taught in school, growing up, or in any part of our education…it is always a taboo subject, but one of the biggest components of my success is negotiations. I am constantly changing my tactics and skills around it.”
Authentic negotiation involves a deeper conversation about getting clear, detaching and finding your equilibrium. Negotiation skills are critical to four areas of an entrepreneur’s business: supplier relations, customer sales, employee hiring and securing of investors.
For supplier relations consider payment terms, lengths of contracts, exclusive rights to products or the supplier(s) that differentiate your brand.
When looking at customer sales consider terms, noncash concessions, and customer satisfaction.
If you’re hiring employees consider employment contracts, start date and additional forms of compensation.
When securing investors consider an exit strategy, rate of return and the ability to influence your company’s strategic direction.
Negotiation is mostly about defining a problem rather than solving it, it helps to fraction the issues.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to negotiating your first career position, salary review, supplier relations, customer sales, employee hiring or securing of investors.
We often do not consider what kind of negotiation we are conducting is it a one-time deal or a long-term deal? The modern negotiator is strategizing for an innovative agreement with a long-term focus.
We can be true to ourselves while championing and negotiating for ourselves and our companies.