Margaret Neale on Negotiation – Getting What You Want (Full Transcript)

“Before coming to business school, for me, negotiation was about preparing to beat a price, or aim for a higher number. Now I realize that preparation, for a negotiation, is much more than that. It’s about identifying the issues that are important to me. But also, the issues that are important to the other parties that I’m interacting with. And, I think that allows us to be much more creative and actually solve the problem.”

“One of the most important things you can do in preparing for your compensation negotiation, is to do your research and find out your market value. Sometime people will go to websites and enter in their current field and title in order to find out what their salary range is. But, I find that those websites aren’t all that accurate, and they often compile an average salary. It’s safe to assume that if you perform strongly and you’re asking for a raise, you’re above average. One of the other things that you can do is to survey a membership group or an association, either online or offline, and ask those members what their salary range is. You can do so anonymously if that feels more comfortable to you”.

“I worked for a Fortune 50 company. I got the promotion of my dreams. Best day of my life. Went out to dinner with a mentor that night to celebrate. Learned that I was getting paid substantially less than my six male counterparts. He said, you have got to go back in there and renegotiate. Had a lot of fear that I might lose that job, but I did. Showed up the next morning and I renegotiated. The concern of my boss was, I was younger and had far less experience than all of my counterparts. Yet, I pointed out to him that his expectation of me was that I would make the same goals as my six counterparts for equally as large accounts. We discussed it and he agreed, and at the end of the day, I got the raise that I really deserved”.

When you’re considering negotiating, you need to be very honest with yourself. How much are you willing to pay to avoid the discomfort of negotiating? And, if you decide that you’re going to negotiate, you need to be strategic in how you ask. And, finally, negotiation is an interdependent process. Every bad deal you have gotten, you’ve agreed to. So, you need to have the capacity to say no, and sometimes when you say no, the other side comes back and says, don’t go, let’s talk. How about this? Is it good for you? But, you’ll never know that unless you’re willing to walk away.

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“Recently I had a client enter a negotiation where the terms really didn’t work for me, and so I told them, it’s just not economically rational for me to take the deal. And, it kept it objective and not personal which really worked for me, and allowed me to walk away from the deal but keep the door open.”

“When I got my first job, I didn’t even negotiate for salary. I had no idea how to set a goal. I had no idea how to make the ask. Now it’s a little bit different. I understand how to set an aspirational goal, and in that preparation, I get to the point where I understand how it benefits all the different parties that are involved.”

“But, you really do have to understand how you feel in order to understand what it is that you want. Because, if you don’t know what you want, you can’t negotiate for it.”

“Earlier in my career, I realized that the types of projects I was going to get to work on, and the people I was going to get to work with would be invaluable experience for me to gain for later on. So, when I received a promotion, I took that time not to just negotiate my cash compensation, but my total package. In this way, I was able to ensure that I was able to focus on a particular industry and also get to work with team members who I knew would invest in my own development.”

“When I was hiring people it struck me that men negotiated quite frequently. And, women were not negotiating. And when they did negotiate, women would have a number in their mind of what they wanted, but they wouldn’t be able to back into how they got that. They didn’t explain to me that they did a competitive assessment. They didn’t tie it to the results and goals that I was hiring them for and why, based on their experience, they were a perfect fit and they were going to meet those goals for me. And therefore, they wanted a package that would include X. They needed to come in prepared, and just persuade me that they could meet my needs.”

“I’ve been on both sides of the negotiation. First, running compensation for a large organization, and now as I place people in jobs and where I’ve seen women be most successful is, when they frame their ask in terms of how it reaches the business goals. So, go ask. Just always keep in mind how does it help the company as well.”

“What I’ve noticed before is candidates negotiate their compensation package is, that sometimes the negotiation process can get so heated, and both parties can get so focused on what they’re looking to get out of it, that the candidate’s enthusiasm and hunger for the job can get lost. Therefore, remember when you enter this process that you want your future employer and your boss to know that you’re not only excited about the opportunity, but you’re hungry to get in there and start the job.”

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