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August 31, 2010

She Negotiates: Again

In late July, I started taking a course about negotiation geared specifically for women. Because by now I excel at asking, but not so much at turning noes into yeses in a commercial, transactional and professional dimension.

I blogged about the first session here. Then, halfway through the course, in early August, I headed to Ecuador. I had to stop participating, because internet access wasn't always easy to come by on Tuesday nights in the rainforest.

In September I'm taking the seminar again, from beginning to end, and I'm curious what the whole series of courses has in store. After the first two weeks of class, I created a project proposal with a higher rate and, with some trepidation, presented it to a new client -- who accepted it without hesitation. Later, I did the same with another new client -- and not only was I no longer nervous, but I calmly and confidently defended myself when the price was questioned.

I will always have one free client on the roster at any time because if I can use my skills to help people, I will. And my rates will remain negotiable if anyone wants to debate them. Because everything, in business, is! But for anyone who can afford to pay them, my services have effectively stopped being a steal.


Here, a few weeks before the first session, are my goals for this She Negotiates seminar this time around.

1) To learn how to steer negotiation conversations to my advantage, rather than letting the other side take the reigns.

2) To become as good as selling as I am at buying.

3) To learn how to move past negotiation impasses. When someone says "There's nothing I can do" or "We have zero flexibility in the budget" is there some way to move past that after all?

Here's a personal/journal style question for you, gentle reader: If there's one dimension of your negotiation skills you'd like to improve, what would it be? Another way to put it: What's one way you'd like to improve as a negotiator?

By the way, as I've stated before: I don't get anything out of recommending this seminar -- no cut or recognition. I just think it's a valuable concrete and concentrated education, and if we can all be empowered, so much the better. Just like I get nothing out of recommending Women Don't Ask except knowing one more woman will do precisely the opposite. That's my reward!! So what are you waiting for!! ;)
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