Are You Negotiating For What You Are Worth?

The news reports tell us that women only receive $.77 for every dollar that a man makes and I wonder if we have something to do with that inequity.

In a recent Fast Company article entitled Why do Women Negotiate For Less Than They Deserve, the author, Gwen Moran, suggests that we settle when it comes to negotiating for our total compensation package.

Whether that is out of fear or a lack of self worth, it appears that women don’t stand up for what they deserve.

Gwen offers many great suggestions:

  • Prepare in advance
  • Be prepared to walk away
  • Practice

All good information, but I would also refer to Alan Weiss, one of the best negotiators in the business world. If you have ever talked to him or heard him speak, you might think he was an arrogant, heartless, self-absorbed man. (I know, don’t hold back, right?) Weiss is a business consultant and he is ruthless when it comes to negotiating a contract with a prospective client. He is also wildly successful. I have met several women business owners who have taken his seminars and/or engaged him in a coaching contract. Most say they end each meeting in tears but follow up with a comment something like; “He’s mean but boy is he ever right.”

value based feesHis many books offer suggestions for how to grow your business and get what you are worth but his best lesson comes from the book Value Based Fees. Although the book is written for business owners or consultants, but the ideas he offers work for a woman business professional seeking to ask for a raise.

Weiss, suggests that rather than think about what you want to make hourly, monthly, annually, or what the going rate is…rather think about what value you offer to your boss (client, customer, fill in the blank).

Think about this one question:

“What would it cost the company if you weren’t there to do your job?”

Would they need to hire people to do the work you faithfully complete each day without error or complaint? Would they miss out on sales opportunities? Would less money fall to the bottom line?

What do you bring to the business? Are you the top producer? Do you complete your job with the least amount of mistakes? Are you a trusted associate known for follow through, creative solutions and fostering great team work?

Those are all valuable aspects of what you bring to the job. It is so much more than just being knowledgeable or longevity.

If you think about the value you bring and what would happen if you WEREN’T there…all of a sudden you should start to view what you offer in a more accurate way.

I refer to what Gwen says in her article to offer more perspective:

Overall, the key to negotiating most effectively is being able to say “no” to conditions that aren’t right for you. And, whatever you do, don’t feel pressured to fill pauses in the conversation. They’re often used to add an element of tension and pressure, Atlanta-based sports agent Molly Fletcher says.

The more you negotiate, the better you’ll get, Carol Frohlinger, founder of Negotiating Women, Inc. says. It may not always come easily or be enjoyable, but putting your negotiating skills to work for yourself can help you earn more, save money, and get what you need–or, at least, closer to it–in any given situation, she says.

Are you compensated for what you are worth? It may be time to reassess the situation.