The Art of Negotiating

By Caitlin D’Aprano

Be a Bad Ass and make sure you always negotiate

When I was living and studying in Rome, I was living in this awful house on the outskirts of Rome. The area didn’t feel very safe and the house itself was not very nice. My friend Marieta was renting this cute little apartment in the heart of Rome, a 5-minute walk to class with cafés a step away. Marieta was due to finish her course in a week, so I called the landlord to see if the apartment was available. It was.

The only issue — it was way out of my budget, but I saw an opportunity. All I needed to do was show the landlord how he would be better off to rent me the apartment at a lower rate, than to not have the apartment filled at all. I did the figures and worked out that if he didn’t have the apartment filled for 10 days, that would be equivalent to giving me the price I wanted. So I got the deal! He lowered the rent from €1500 to €1000 per month. And on that note, here are my Top 5 tips!

1. Do a competitive analysis

Put together a list of businesses that offer the same services and find out how much each of them costs. Then you can figure out your target budget.

2. Pick the business you most want to work with

Figure out which business you prefer and has the most of what you want. Then pick the best quoted price from having done your competitive analysis and then ask the preferred business to do the best price you found. Usually they won’t match exactly what you ask, so I am usually willing to go a little higher because they are my business of choice.

3. It gives you confidence

There is always a certain hurdle within myself that I have to bypass in order to ask for the price that I want, but when I do it, I have noticed that it raises the confidence I have in myself.

4. There is no harm in asking

If someone says no, it’s not the end of the world, you either take the offer as is, or find something else that is better suited. Either way, you haven’t lost anything. The other thing to remember is that most people want to be accommodating.

5. It’s good practice to ask for what you want

I feel super vulnerable when I ask for the price I want. What if I am asking too much? What if they say no? What if they don’t want to work with me because I am negotiating? It’s good to find out that these doubts have never turned out to be true!

It is my belief that women absolutely must advocate for themselves and negotiate, whatever the circumstance, weather it be salary, in business, a holiday, buying a car, buying a house, you name it.

Caitlin D’Aprano is focused on women’s empowerment, women’s entrepreneurship and helping women find their voice and strength through classes and events. You can check out what she does at
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