Countless studies have found that women don’t negotiate as much as men do. I’m guilty of not stepping up my game in that arena, either. But, honestly, after several increases in cost of living recently I just had to put my foot down and begin negotiating more. I negotiate from a need to survive financially, while men, well, they seem to just do it as a matter of practice. “There’s always money on the table,” my dad tells me. For some reason, when someone gives me a figure—a bill I owe or an amount I’ll be paid—I assume that’s set in stone. Set in stone…by whom? Literally the person I’m talking to, most likely.
I have to remember that when somebody presents me with a figure, that isn’t the law. That’s just the number that is ideal for that person. It’s the most profitable. It’s their dream situation. But, you know what? Maybe their dream situation isn’t mine—in fact, maybe it’s far from it. We’re both entitled to stating our demands and listing our needs. Why shouldn’t we be? Why would the person in front of me—the mechanic, boss, dermatologist—be more entitled to trying to reach the best financial situation for himself than I am? He isn’t. We both have some power here. I just think it’s important for women to remember that.
There is another thing at play though: my need to be agreeable. I’m afraid someone will find me difficult or unpleasant if I negotiate. But, really, anybody who sees me that way, all for trying to fulfill my own needs, is not someone whose respect I need anyways. And when the deal is over, I may never see that person again, so what I want more than their favorable opinion of me, is a favorable financial outcome. On that note, here are times women should negotiate more.
Love a place but can’t quite cover the rent? That listed rent price isn’t set in stone. Naturally, if the landlord or leasing company has other offers on the table, it kind of is but if they don’t or they only have equal offers, you can negotiate. Maybe you offer to sign a three-year lease if they lower the rent a bit. Or, maybe you offer to pay your rent in two monthly installments rather than just one, so they get money more frequently.