How I negotiated one of the biggest deals of my life

  • Note: This was written back in my student days.

To start with, I was never comfortable with the idea of negotiating when money came in to the picture. I read a few posts by female bloggers that as women, it was quite difficult to negotiate and get a fair deal. I don’t have much idea in this regard as I have never been subject to a situation where being a woman has impeded me in a science classroom, lab or work environment. Maybe I have to owe it to people with very expanded mind frame that I have been in company of. Since I am yet to learn a lot as I grow older, I l put the topic to rest till I may have to implement it in future.

It was during the final year of my Masters (2013- 2014) and I was completely bogged down with specialization project, blogging, and freelance writing and couldn’t take on anything more in my schedule. My grandmother lived near my place and I frequented her place for tasks. One of her neighbours had been very persistent that I teach science and mathematics to their junior high daughter. They knew I had a busy schedule and yet, created a demand for a service that didn’t exist. So, I assumed it would be quite evident for them that if I was to drop something else in order to take up this project that would naturally require a lot of time, effort and responsibility on my part, they would have to make an offer that would be worth my time and effort. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want any loss in terms of opportunity costs. As a student, my time was a very valuable resource as I was developing skills and learning as much as I could in my spare time.

But I decided to meet them. They invited me over coffee to propose that I teach their daughter as they were extremely impressed by my academic record and the way I presented myself, spoke and explained things.

Having this information was to my advantage as it helps to know what they know about you and how far are they going to value that and proceed henceforth. They also knew that I didn’t do things “by the book”

So during that interview I emphasized on those very points, briefly assessed my prospective student, exhibited how I was going to deliver the exact thing they were looking for and that I would be able to dedicate 3 days a week, 2.5 hours per session. By this time I had sold my idea. The benefits as presented were immense and I made sure it appeared much better than the next best option.

Finally it was time to quote the price, that’s the part I DISLIKE. I pointed out that since I will be focusing solely on one student for the specified period of time, the amount “x” seems like a fair deal.

I had assumed they would ask me to reconsider, so I had actually placed it up a few notches. But they agreed to it at once, thereby making it a very profitable deal for me on a per hour rate basis, and it out stripped the next best method of part time earning by a nice amount.

This one single deal proved to be profitable during those times when I actually let off some of the more time consuming tasks as I focused on tutoring, making good returns on what I had already studied and knew, while I worked for my M.Sc degree. I continued it till august , a few weeks after my M.Sc exams and then in September I was unexpectedly presented with one of the biggest deals of my life. I got a great job and its features were of one that was very close to my heart.

So, a constant learning curve, improving yourself, boosting up your CV and being completely sincere is just as important as preparing yourself for the final preparations to land that deal. And if in spite of everything, you couldn’t land it, it was because of a mismatch somewhere, which might not be the case, but probably there was one.

©The Idea Bucket, 2013-2014. Written by Ananya.



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