I’ve spent my entire life as a pawnbroker, so negotiating is something that comes naturally to me. For many people, however, it can be an intimidating process.
Studies by Harvard Business School suggest that women can be less likely to drive a hard bargain when negotiating on their behalf. And author Linda Babcock found that when it comes to negotiating, women can be 50 per cent less likely to speak up.
In my own experience, I find that women are just as capable at negotiating as their male counterparts, but if you find you’re more likely to shy away, there are three keys for you to remember to successfully negotiate any deal:
1. Check your emotions
The first step is realizing that you’re the boss. Women drive 70-80 per cent of all consumer purchases. So when you are negotiating to buy something, remind yourself that you’re a part of the most powerful buying group on the planet. Don’t allow emotions like embarrassment, fear or intimidation to come into the conversation. When buying, remember to make decisions based on sound strategy rather than getting caught up in the feelings that surround this thing you want to buy or the person(s) you’re negotiating with.
2. Know your bottom line
We live in a time when it’s fairly easy to do some research to help you understand the value of your purchase. Whether you’re buying a new car or a statement piece of jewellery, it’s important to set a range of what you are willing and able to pay and to stick with that. Go into negotiations with a plan in place. Instead of thinking of it as a game of win or lose, consider it a problem-solving process focused on getting what you want.
3. Be willing to walk away
Sometimes no matter how badly we want something, the deal just isn’t right. In those cases, you must be willing to walk away and to reassess. The single best way to avoid buyer’s remorse later is by being willing to walk away from deals that aren’t in our best interest during the negotiation phase.