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Q&A session of the Startup Night - Business Queens - Part 2

Negotiation strategies and techniques


"Propose" phase: Should you go in with your own salary proposals or not?

In general, we recommend actively going into the negotiation with your own salary expectations, especially if you have a clear idea. This sets an anchor in the interview. One exception is if the salary field is completely unknown. In such cases, it can make sense to let the other party make an offer first, for example by asking: "What is the proposed salary?" Nevertheless, in most cases it is advantageous to make the first proposal yourself, as the first figure mentioned has a strong impact.


What are the most common mistakes that are made in the first phase at the negotiating table?

A clear agenda is often missing. Without an agenda, the negotiating partner does not know what is at stake and the conversation becomes unclear. A well-prepared agenda also helps to structure dialogue partners who talk a lot. Without an agenda, proposals are often made hastily, which leads to a bazaar trade that is not focussed. It is important to identify needs and make targeted, well argued proposals.


How important is it to remain flexible in negotiations and how do you balance flexibility and determination?

Experience and routine are important here. Sometimes you have to adapt your strategy depending on how the negotiation is going. If the other side is not yet ready for proposals, you should ask more questions. If, on the other hand, many points have already been clarified, you can go straight to proposals. Flexibility means deciding according to the situation and conducting the negotiation dynamically.

  



Dealing with challenges

How can you counter the statement "we can't pay that much, it wouldn't fit in the team, nobody in the team earns that much"?

It is advisable to consider alternatives to the salary. If the financial ceiling has been reached, you can ask about additional benefits: Are there additional benefits, perks, flexible working hours, additional holidays, a company car or a company mobile phone? Further training measures could also be negotiated. You could initially ask for these additional benefits for a limited period and then discuss them again after six months. It is important to think beyond just salary and negotiate other valuable benefits.


The boss increases the hours, but there is no salary negotiation. How can you address this and start the conversation?

You should proactively seek out the conversation. You could say: "I've noticed that my working hours have increased. This brings with it new conditions that I would like to discuss with you." It is also important to consider alternatives: more salary, additional responsibility or further training opportunities could be part of the conversation. It is crucial to address the changed conditions openly and discuss possible compensation.

 

When dealing with negotiations: If a male negotiating partner doesn't trust you as a woman to take the lead, how do you deal with this?

I use such situations as an opportunity to surprise and show my expertise. If I realise that my counterpart has doubts, I use this as an opportunity to demonstrate my skills and knowledge. It's important not to be intimidated and to use the opportunity to show what you can do.


What do you think about wearing someone down in negotiations, i.e. dragging out the negotiation for a long time?

Attrition tactics are not uncommon. In such cases, you shouldn't allow yourself to be put under pressure and ask for a time-out if necessary. You can say: "A lot of new information has come to light, I would like to go through these points in peace. Can we meet again in a few days?" A time-out gives you the opportunity to prepare better and go into the next round stronger.

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