Women hear, “I am not willing to pay that”… as fact instead of the start of a conversation. Whether you are negotiating your pay, what you charge a customer for your services, or any other money discussion chances are you take the other person’s “no” as the end of the converesation rather than the beginning.
My friend and small business owner realized this painful fact almost too late on a recent job bid. Dealing with a male customer she was intimidated by his harsh statement he would not pay what she had bid. She felt she had done her best to make the bid fair and cutting it more would leave her loosing money on the job, so she prepared to let the job go.
However, this observant male noticed her retreat and commented, “Why do women think ‘I am not willing to pay that…’ is the end of the conversation? If you feel your bid was fair defend it, show me, maybe even threaten to raise it!” He continued that too often he finds women don’t value their work enough and are rarely ready to negotiate. My friend was lucky to be dealing with a man who saw her feminine weakness and pointed it out to her, rather than capitalize on it. You might not be so fortunate.
Look at everywhere you might be sabataging your value?
- Last time you asked for a raise did you hold firm, or let your bosses list of excuses diminish your worth?
- What about the fees you charge if you are a professional, do you squirm when you tell people how much you charge, possibly even offering them a “special” discount?
- Do you offer to “help” contractors do their work, acting as free labor because you worry you are not paying them enough?
- Where else might you be undermining your monitary gains?
If any of these ring true at all, then it is time to change your perspective on money. “No” can be the beginning of a dialogue, not the end of your conversation. In fact, every sales rep learns early on that “no” does not mean no, it means they haven’t solved the customers problem yet with what they are selling.
Here are three key actions you can do to expand your confidence in how much money you are asking for and improve your ability to move into conversation rather than stalemate.
- Research salaries in your city for the job description you preform (not the title only, look at all your responsibilities.)
- Research industry averages for the fees you are charging. Call your competition and get pricing from people who do the same calliber of work you do.
- Calculate how much money you make per hour on average and then the next time you are going to clean before your cleaning person arrives, or a similar act of assistance, ask yourself if you would be better off earning money the way you do, or pitching in to relieve your guilt here. If necessary give them a raise, rather than use your time.