Friday, November 7, 2014

Meeting Ivanka Trump & Asking for What You Want

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting the ever gracious Ivanka Trump for her Dallas appearance at Neiman Marcus Northpark.  Although the purpose of her appearance was to debut her new jewelry line, I was so interested in meeting her because to entrepreneurs like me, she is a true inspiration of what it means to build a brand and try to do it while balancing life's other obligations.

Ivanka is not just a Trump nor is she just a rich fashionista going to parties all the time.  She is a dedicated mom, business savvy negotiator and all around generous person of her time to those who she knows finds her an inspiration among the jungle of doing business with mostly men.

Having Fashion Fun
Right before I went to the event, I had just read one of Ivanka's great blog posts on how to negotiate and ask for what you want!  It is an empowering read and here are my favorite to-do's from her blog (find the full blog post here):

Most negotiations are the beginning—or the continuation—of a long-term relationship, and there’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with someone who feels like they’ve been screwed.

Called a “natural born dealmaker,” by her father, Donald, Ivanka has earned her reputation as a formidable negotiator.  Ivanka credits meticulous preparation, an even temperament and a genuine love of the game as some of her secrets to success. Here, a few of her top tips for—graciously—getting what you want:

Photo Credit: Ivanka Trump
Set Your  Goals in Advance
Know what you hope to achieve prior to negotiating. It’s the golden rule, and the one most people fail to heed. Without a plan, you allow the opposing party to define your goals, instead of the other way around.

Know Your Opponent's Objectives
The most valuable thing you can do is correctly identify the other person’s top priorities. Often, they’re not at odds with yours; you can give them what they want and they feel like they’ve won, at little cost to yourself. Yes, negotiating is about money and the bottom line, but a lot of times, it’s much more emotional and complex than that. Realizing that the economic outcome may not be the other party’s top priority will enable you to achieve better results than you may have anticipated.

Do Not Negotiate Via Email
Fashionable Dallasites
It’s a cop-out that benefits the weaker party by allowing them to avoid a direct confrontation and take more time to craft a strong response to their weak position. I always prefer to speak face to face, typically in my own office (home court advantage!).

Listen More Than You Speak
When people are uncomfortable, they start rambling as a way to fill the space. Some of the strongest negotiators I know just sit back and listen. The more they don’t engage or discourage the other person from feeling uncomfortable, the more likely the other person is to slip up and offer information they otherwise would have guarded.

Practice When the Stakes are Low
Go into a boutique and try to get a discount. Call the phone company and threaten to switch providers if they won’t give you a deal on your service going forward. When the stakes are low, it’s a great time to work on your skills. Plus, it can be fun. As I said earlier, you don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Business Owner Camille and I
If you also want to work on your negotiation skills and be bolder in asking for what you want, I have found invaluable advice in the book "Women Don't Ask" by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.  It offers great advice for every women no matter her career or board.

Be brave, ask for what you REALLY want and be Curva-Lish!


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