Raise your hand if negotiation and money talk is your least favorite thing? ?♀️
Since I can’t see you, I will have to take your word for it. Aside from a few coupon cutters who are always after a great deal, the chances are high that most of you raised your hand (or chose not to fully participated and just smiled or raised your eyebrows).
In my fifteen years of professional experience, rarely do I find people who do not find the money conversation a little awkward or hard to get through. It is even more rare to find someone who both enjoys the negotiation discussion and doesn’t have a perception as an overbearing salesperson. In fact, Ally Bank reported that 70% of Americans actually think that it’s rude to talk about money. So how do you get over your apprehension to talk about money, and not hate the encounter afterward?
It’s important during these conversations to embody a Lifestyle of Leadership, specifically when it comes to upholding your character and listening to the people that are in the room with you. Whether you are asking for a raise, asking your parents for extra money, or trying to get a lower price from a vendor, here are four negotiation tips that have proved well for me over the years.
Call Out the Awkward
I always like to diffuse the situation right away by calling out the obvious. Let the other person know that this can be an awkward conversation for you to have. Be open and honest – people will respect you more if you are upfront and truthful. In the end, a good negotiation isn’t about reaching a set dollar figure – it is about both sides feeling content with the result.
People will respect you more if you are upfront and truthful.
Know Your Non-Negotiables
You must know walking into any situation what your baseline is. What is the minimum raise you’ll accept? What’s the most you can pay? Negotiation and money discussions shouldn’t be about emotionally beating your opponent down until they surrender. It’s about finding comprise and walking away happy with what you achieved. So, if you walk in with three non-negotiables that you need, and you reach them, that’s your win!
Negotiation and money discussions shouldn’t be about emotionally beating your opponent down until they surrender. It’s about finding comprise and walking away happy with what you achieved.
Remember Some People Negotiate on Facts, Others on Feelings
I dive into the numbers and look at facts and figures when I talk about money. My boss is all about the emotions and impacts the change may have on someone. To successfully negotiate you must know what framework the other side is looking at the situation from. Know how you negotiate and learn how the other side negotiates.
To successfully negotiate you must know what framework the other side is looking at the situation from.
It’s About More Than Money
Most often than not, money is a symptom, but not the root issue. Everyone places a different value on their time, their freedom, and their life. Change your mindset from negotiating on money and negotiate on value. If you are negotiating a raise, don’t just think about your salary. Look at employer contributions to your healthcare or retirement account, look at vacation days, and look at a flexible work schedule. Each of these can bring you a lot of value and have varying costs to the employer. Perhaps your parents value your safety above all else. So instead of framing a conversation about money, frame it about safety…and the money needed to ensure your safety. After all, your life is priceless…right? ?
Having a healthy, honest conversation about money may do more for you than you realize. Having this conversation will speak to your character and your peers will respect you more for being willing to have a challenging conversation. When you practice your communication and listening skills, it creates an open dialogue for other uncomfortable conversations down the road. And with any luck, you’ll get what you were asking for.
Sean currently serves as TEAMTRI's VP of Business Development, where he spends his time connecting with our awesome clients, preparing proposals and agreements outlining key leadership solutions for said clients, and building partnerships within the industry. Some call him a lifer at TEAMTRI, but he says he was just fortunate to find his career passion early in life. Fifteen years later, his mom is still confused by what he does, but she has since learned to tell her friends to "just look him up on LinkedIn".