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The MBA Bride | October 24, 2021

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Things Bride Shouldn't Say When Negotiating

5 Things Brides Should Never Say When Negotiating

Negotiating with wedding vendors is much like negotiating in the business world. If you negotiate for salary, for a business contract, or anything else in life, you know there are some essential dos and don’ts.

But another commonality in all negotiating is that women tend to negotiate differently, and perhaps less effectively, than men. An American Express forum cites that women make about 77% of a man’s salary and a woman with children earn 14% less than a woman without children. Is there a direct correlation between increase femininity and negotiation abilities?

As soon to be brides, I’m sure you are as concerned as I am. I am a woman, I am a future mom, and I am a bride-to-be – you don’t get much more feminine than that. But we can prevent salary undercuts as much as we can prevent vendors taking advantage of us.

So let’s begin. Let’s embrace our feminine nature, but not lose the negotiating battle. Here are five thing that us, women, can avoid when negotiating to ensure we are not run over.

Don’t say:

    1. “I’m sorry.” Yes, you can be assertive without being brutish. Step 1 into that process is avoiding the word “sorry.” Never apologize during a negotiation – it discredits your worth.

    1. “I feel.” If it’s coming out of your mouth, the person you are negotiating with already knows that what you’re saying is how you feel, so no need to be redundant. Further, “I feel” communicates a very passive word choice, suggesting the opponent to ramp up their data to counter “your feelings.” Stick to hard facts and embrace them.

    1. “OK” (at first offer). Never respond “OK” to the first offer. Both parties should be making concessions and going back and forth to ensure that there is no money left on the table. So even if the first offer seems perfect, always take it back and look for the opportunities.

    1. “I never thought of that.” During negotiations is not the time to pretend you were born yesterday. Savvy negotiators always do their homework. If something is said that you’re surprised about, don’t let the opposing party know. Take it back and research it further.

  1. No. You’re obviously in a negotiation because there is something that the opposing negotiator has that you want. Saying no up front will earn you the reputation of an impossible negotiator and not create the credibility and trust you need to find the most successful outcome. Avoid this word at all costs.

Avoiding these five phrases during a negotiation will ultimately make you a stronger negotiator and a stronger candidate/winner/client.

What other phrases shouldn’t be said at the negotiating table with a vendor?

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