In my work, the concept of self-worth comes up over and over again. I always get questions like, “How do I ask for more money?” and “How do I know if I am worth that much?” I always ask the same questions: Do you have the solution your client or employer is looking for? Do you have the skills, the training, or the experience to solve their problem? If the answer is YES, then it doesn’t matter how much you think you are worth, only how much the client is willing to pay to solve their problem.
In preparation for your next negotiation, remember these three tips:
- RESEARCH: Do as much research as you can ahead of time or, if necessary, during the first part of your conversation. ALWAYS ask OPEN ENDED questions like: What is the biggest challenge you face? What have you tried in the past? Make sure you follow your question with absolute SILENCE. Give them a chance to offer up their pain points. Chris Voss, in his book “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It”, offers some great insights on how to use what he calls calibrated questions to get information about your counterpart.
- LEAD: A well-prepared negotiator always leads the conversation, but, at the same time, creates an environment where the other person feels in control. How? Any good negotiator knows that you have to walk into a conversation with a plan and an intention of where you want the conversation to go. When you ask open-ended questions and you give them time to really answer, you are allowing them to feel like they are the ones engaging in the deeper conversation.
- INSPIRE: Once you are clear on the problems your counterpart is facing and that your expertise can solve those problems, spend your time painting a vision of their new reality. Allow them to imagine what their life would look like if their problem was solved. Invite your counterpart to IMAGINE what life can look like once their problem is solved. If you do this well, then at some point, they will ask for your services (always wait for them to ask first) and will be ready to give you what you ask to make that vision come true for them.
Being CLEAR on the PROBLEM your counterpart needs to solve and how you can solve that problem is key to being able to successfully negotiate your worth. Also, you must be able to manage your emotions. You have nothing to lose, the other person needs YOU more than you need them, ALWAYS! Be confident in this knowledge and you will be able to negotiate with the best of them.
So, remember, it’s not about how much you are worth, it’s ALWAYS about how much the other person will pay to SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM!
Need additional tips and strategies for growing your business? Check out these free resources to help gain more clarity and move in a direction toward your goals.
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Dolores Hirschmann is an internationally recognized strategist, clarity coach, TEDx organizer, speaker, and author. She has over 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs and organizations realize their potential by clarifying their “idea worth sharing.”