Like A Boss

Like A Boss

Audio Version: Let Me Hear It!

As a nod to Boss’s Day – which is just around the corner – and in our continuous effort to brighten your Tuesday mornings, we asked ourselves: “what can our boss do for you?” As the president of a wealth management firm overseeing more than $7 billion in assets, wife, mother of four and community do-gooder, we thought our find a way to “have-it-all” boss clearly had a secret to share.

So, what is the secret to success? In a word: Negotiate!

Negotiating is like dancing. It’s sure to be awkward and may lead to some bruising if you’re not good at it. So, why is it so important and how can we get better at it?  Boss Lady explains below:

Q: Why is negotiating so important to your success?

A: We’re talking about my hard-earned money here. I should get the best value for it and so should everyone else. I remind myself that Oprah didn’t get there by accepting everything at face value.     

Q: How do you overcome the awkwardness of negotiating? 

A: Get over your fear and just ask! Although it may not be something you do all the time, others do. It’s a respected business practice. It’s cliché but true – it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Q: What are some less obvious things worth negotiating? 

A: Medical bills, floor models, jewelry, interest rates and annual fees on credit cards, insurance rates, auto-repairs, dry cleaning, college tuition, cosmetic surgery, rent, IRS bill, and almost any larger service provider bill (i.e. phone, cable, copier, etc.).

Q: What are your top negotiating tips?

A: Try not to be the first one to set the number. You learn quite a bit from the other party when they speak first. Do your homework. Know your best alternative to the negotiated agreement (BATNA). In other words, know what is behind door number two and when you’re willing to walk through it. For example, if you can buy the same car at another dealer for $10k, but this dealer is asking $11k, you know you can walk away if you can’t get it for less than $10k. Ask questions, don’t get emotional and know that a “pregnant pause” for dramatic effect never hurts.

Read Getting to Yes.

Q: When do you know not to negotiate (if ever)? 

A: Don’t negotiate if there isn’t a win-win. Both parties need to feel like they have won something. Don’t negotiate when you aren’t prepared or the other person is emotional. Be patient. Save yourself the time and don’t negotiate with someone without authority.