Last week the women of the SNDBX hosted an event called Negotiating The Win as a Businesswoman. At the SNDBX, more than a third of the businesses are owned and led by a woman. Representing over 14 different sectors, the Women of SNDBX are a force to reckon with as they have sharpened their skills in negotiating position, time, money, workload, projects and ensuring that their impact is not only felt but valued as businesswomen.
The event had three speakers who talked about different things women need to think about. One of the key takeaways was that the price you accept becomes your label.
The first speaker was Rina Hicks who is the Operations Director, Faida Investment Bank. Rina is an investment professional directs the Corporate Finance Advisory Unit. She is also the founder of Money-Wise® and is the author of the book “Money-Wise: Create, Grow & Preserve Wealth.
She gave the following posts.
- You need to have clarity about who you are and what you have to offer. Be better than everyone else.
- What is your big Why? What is important to you?
- Build assets. You can use this to negotiate for yourself better deals. You can use this to get loans and build your business.
Fridah Owinga is the founder of Thrive Mastery System. She is also the founder of Passion Profit a learning systems provider & she is also a Certified Life & Work Coach. She would talk about the mindset of negotiating, preparing yourself for negotiations and experiences in negotiating the win.
She started with a profound statement that what stands in the way often becomes the way. You should not wait for others to love you.
4 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
There are 4 things you need to consider. 1. Pre-meeting 2. At the meeting. 3. Pitfalls to avoid. 4. Post meeting
- What is in it for you?
- What is in for them?
- Who are your allies and foes? Don’t carry beef. Don’t waste time on people who don’t like you.
- Are you doing free or paid work? If it is free, what are you getting out of it?
- Sometimes what they want is not obvious which is why you need to create allies. You need to make friends at the places you would like to create a business. Find allies.
What is your vision? What is your clear mental image of a preferable future together?
What do you want long term?
How do you create value for yourself and your company?
What can I do for free or paid?
What in it for you?
What are your short, midterm and long-term objectives?
What is it for you?
Who are you going to talk to?
At what point are you willing to walk away?
The price you accept becomes your label.
Have a range of the lowest price you will take to the highest price.
What is your range, what options are you looking for and what are your deal breakers?
Be conscious of your value.
Deal breakers. If I don’t get this, I am walking away.
AT THE MEETING
You need to demonstrate tangible results
You need to make use of allies.
Don’t be shy about what you have done.
Create brand deals If you are doing deals with brands
Pay attention to spin-offs that you could make.
Listen, ask questions and resist assumptions.
Marketing on a shoestring budget
What are you bringing to the table?
How will it make sense?
If working with partners, how can you ride on their marketing budgets
Do what you need to do and apologize later.
Negotiate. If this is what you can give me this is what I can give you.
Ask yourself how every deal can put money on your table.
People want results. Ask your allies who is going to be at the meeting.
Don’t be quiet at the meetings. Make your presence known.
If you don’t get the deal don’t catch feelings. Find out what you did wrong or what you could do better and keep it moving.
Pay attention to spinoffs that you could take advantage of.
Ask your allies how you could do better if you didn’t get the deal.
LONG TERM WINS
Baby steps over a long period.
- Say Thank you for the opportunity.
Work on your team alignment. Tell them what you learnt and tell your team what you are up to
Follow Up on your allies. How are they doing? It shouldn’t be about work.
Define what is a quick win and what is a long-term win
Figure out what is it you want and how to get it.
- Don’t be shy to ask for help
Remember you can be great as an individual but greater with others.
- Some of the pitfalls you need to watch out for.
- Focusing on paper value only
- Taking stuff to heart instead of to the drawing board.
- Inadequate pipeline activities. What are you doing daily?
- Lack of flexibility
- Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiable. John. F. Kennedy.
Nekesa Were is a management consultant working primarily with Afrilabs, a Pan African network of 320 hubs across 51 African countries. She is a strategy advisor at SNDBX, a permanent residence of over 30 experts, collaborating to support SMEs. She has worked at the heart of the tech and innovation ecosystem in Kenya and Africa for 10 years. She has more than 15 years of experience in leadership, human resource management, operations, and communications.
Nekesa talked about being a cultural experience, but it is also a dance. It is a celebration of diversity. There are different personalities at the negotiation table. Africans think about a win-win situation while in some cultures it is a win or lose situation.
When thinking about negotiating globally note that
- Different cultures use different tones when speaking. So, it is important to note the tone of the people you are negotiating with. In some cultures, people speak in loud tones and others in soft tones.
- Sometimes it is not the people who come to the room who make the decisions. In some places, the decision-makers are at the table but in some, the people in the room have to go consult their seniors. They need to get feedback in order to revert.
- How people shake hands and what different handshakes mean are different.
- Eye contact is important in some cultures and rude in others.
- Who are you meeting? Should you dress up or dress down?
Should you use makeup or not use makeup?
Remember to dress for the fish you are trying to catch.
- What rooms are you going into?
Who are you meeting?
What are they expecting?
- You need to show up and build relationships. You need to develop relationships with people before you enter the negotiation room.
- Do your homework. Know who is going to be in the room before you get there. Search for them and read about them on LinkedIn. Know what they are doing. Ask questions. Understand how to pronounce their names. Understand their local contexts.
- Check your biases whether it is racial, or gender biases.
- Build a team for negotiation. Hire people to do what you can’t do or don’t want to do.
- Be on time. Punctuality is the courtesy of Kings. Especially if you are the lead negotiator you need to arrive on time and set the tone for your team.
- Know yourself. Understand who you are, and what you bring to the table. What are your weaknesses and strengths? Give yourself a pep talk before on winning. Tell yourself that this is a win for me no matter how it ends.
Now hopefully with these tips, you will be ready to negotiate. Look out for the next Women of SNDBX events.