Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed

When old folks told me not to rush to grow up, I didn’t quite understand why they felt that way. I get it now. Working and paying bills is for the birds, but I am thankful I have the ability to be able to do it. 

Recently, I have had to do a whole lot of adulting. I bought my first car and finished the process of signing a contract for my first big girl job.  These two processes have taught me the importance of learning how to negotiate. As a disclaimer, I am far from an expert negotiator. In fact, I am not actually good at it.  When I need to negotiate, I call my Godfather who I feel is a master negotiator. He should probably charge for his services. However, I see that there is an art to negotiating and it requires practice and experience. For people like me who do not enjoy talking, it may require a financial an/or time commitment. However, I want to share the things I have learned thus far:

Car negotiations

  1. Go into the negotiation with a number you are not willing to surpass and start much lower.

  2. The other party’s starting price is their high. They have room to go lower

  3. Do your research. Know what you want in and on the car and know the typical cost.

  4. Get pre-approved, hopefully with a low interest rate. The dealership wants you to get financed through their financial department. If they can’t beat your interest rate, don’t waste your time.

  5. If you have a job title that “sounds like money,” don’t tell them. They will make assumptions about what you can afford.

  6. Dealers definitely judge you by your clothing (and probably hair, skin color, etc.). Keep that in mind before you go.

  7. Most importantly: Do not be afraid to walk away. If they don’t quote you the price you like leave. They will run out the door to get you or call if they want to make the sale.

Salary negotiations

  1. Go into the negotiation with a salary that you are not willing to go below and start much higher.

  2. The other party’s starting price is their low. They have room to go higher.

  3. Know the average salary for your position so you have a reasonable starting point.

  4. Make the employer feel like you have other options, even if you don’t.

  5. If you get an offer, sit on it for as long as you can. Then come back ready to negotiate.

  6. Get someone who is familiar with contracts to read over yours. A lawyer would be best. 

  7. Know your worth and do not settle for less.

The most important thing I have learned in both instances is: ‘Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed.’ If you want more money,  ask. If you want moving expenses, ask. If you want a better deal, ask. The answer to every question you don’t ask is always no.

All Eyez on Me,

Dr. Ward

Courtney Ward