As a female entrepreneur, you will face many challenges in your career. One of these challenges is the need to negotiate effectively in a male-dominated world.
While it is true that women have been making great strides in the business world, the fact is that they still face many obstacles when it comes to equal treatment and opportunities.
One of the most important skills that you can learn as a female entrepreneur is how to negotiate effectively. This skill will be essential in every aspect of your career, from raising capital to hiring staff to striking deals with clients.
Keep reading to learn 8 effective negotiation strategies for women entrepreneurs!
2. The Case for Negotiation
The case for negotiation is clear. As women, we must understand our worth and be prepared to make a strong case for our value in any negotiation. The ability to negotiate confidently is essential to success as an entrepreneur, and women need to equip themselves with the tools to do so successfully.
When put into practice, these eight strategies set the foundation for negotiation. By honing in on active listening, building relationships, and understanding your goals, you will be able to get what you want out of future negotiations.
Negotiation is an art and takes time to perfect. However, with practice, aim and patience, you will have the upper hand in any negotiation, regardless of gender. So prepare yourself, focus on building relationships, listen actively and stay alert to the negotiating possibilities. Remember, negotiation is not just about getting what you want, it is also about understanding the other side and finding a win-win solution.
3. Gender Differences in the Art of Negotiation
Research has demonstrated that the gender differences in the art of negotiation arise from the fact women are often viewed as less assertive and more collaborative. They play a softer role in negotiations, often preferring to keep relationships intact by creating connections rather than making deals.
On the other hand, men are usually more direct, relying on their knowledge, experience, and skills to get what they want in a negotiation.
It is essential to recognize these gender differences and use them to your advantage in negotiations. Women should be aware of their naturally cooperative strengths, while men should embrace their need to build an understanding of the other person.
By incorporating these gender-based skills into negotiations, both men and women can become successful negotiators. Negotiation is a skill that can be developed no matter your gender. Women can be just as successful (if not even more so) at negotiations as men.
4. The 8 Most Effective Negotiation Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs
The following 8 negotiation strategies are highly effective for women entrepreneurs:
- Learn to Listen – Women need to be skillful listeners. When negotiating, listen closely and make sure to take notes on any points that need clarifying.
- Prioritize Objectives – Women should prioritize their main objectives before coming to the negotiation table. This will help structure the conversations and determine what to ask for.
- Ask Questions – Asking the right questions can help build a better understanding of the other party’s needs and position in the negotiation.
- Have a Win-Win Attitude – Women should come to the table with an open mind. The goal of negotiation should be to reach a win-win agreement for both parties.
- Stay Calm – Women should stay composed during the negotiation process and not let emotions take control.
- Prepare Alternatives – Women should have contingency plans in case the negotiations take a turn for the worse. Preparing alternative scenarios can help navigate difficult negotiations.
- Don’t be Afraid to Stretch the Negotiation – Although compromise is a key element in successful negotiations, women should not be afraid to push the boundaries during negotiations.
- Know Your Value – Women should understand their worth and know their value to get what they want in a negotiation. Knowing your value can give you the confidence to stand up for yourself and your objectives.
5. When to Use These Strategies
When used appropriately, the 8 negotiation strategies discussed above can help women entrepreneur gain a greater understanding of the negotiation process and how to use negotiation techniques to their advantage.
When to Use These Strategies:
- Negotiating with Vendors – Women should use these strategies when negotiating with vendors, such as manufacturers and service providers, to ensure they get the best deal.
- Negotiating with Business Partners – When dealing with business partners, the 8 strategies can be used to ensure successful collaboration.
- Negotiating for Investment – Women should utilize these strategies when seeking investment, such as venture capital or angel funding.
- Negotiating with Employees – As employers, women should use these negotiation strategies to get the best out of their employees.
- Negotiating Salary and Benefits – Women should identify their value and be prepared to negotiate for the salary and benefits they desire.
6. How to Prepare for Successful Negotiation
When it comes to any negotiation process, it is important to ensure that both parties are prepared and well-equipped to work through the negotiation in order to get the best outcome. Here are 6 steps to ensure a successful negotiation:
- Research – Pre-negotiation research such as market conditions, competitors, and other relevant industry trends can help you frame up a successful negotiation.
- Set Goals – Prior to the negotiation, set small and large goals to have ready during the process. These goals can help guide you throughout the negotiation and ensure that the best outcome is reached.
- Be Flexible – Be prepared to compromise. Have alternatives ready to offer but remember to keep your core values and goals in mind.
- Listen – Being a good listener is a key negotiation trait which helps to ensure that you understand the expectations and needs of any counterparty.
- Anticipate Outcomes – It is important to plan for possible outcomes and be ready for surprises. Analyze the situation and anticipate different scenarios during the negotiation.
- Stay Calm and Confident – Believe in your own strengths and capabilities when negotiating. Stay calm and confident in the face of counters, objections, and rejections.
After going through the 8 negotiation strategies laid out above, women entrepreneurs should make sure to sit down and review which of the strategies they can apply to their own business negotiations. They also need to be sure to build up their negotiation skills and practice these approaches with a mentor or other experienced negotiator.
It’s important to have persistence and take each negotiation step by step. Negotiations don’t always have to feel like a battle and it can be beneficial to look for ways that both parties can benefit out of the agreement. Negotiations are an essential part of business, and by following these strategies, women entrepreneurs can become more skilled in negotiations and gain greater confidence in striking successful deals.