Ms. Ukti Vora, MBA, M.Optom, FAAO
Founder & host of the Podcast – “Nerdy Optometrist”
Director of Clinical Affairs, EyecareLive Inc.
Do you feel you could have received a better compensation for your current role or a better deal on the equipment you just bought? If yes, you are not alone. Statistically less than one third of the people attempt to negotiate for a better outcome, thereby missing out on better opportunities.
This is undeniably one of the most important skills you need to develop and gradually master as part of your soft skills. Though it is not given enough importance, this skill is crucial for everyone irrespective of their role; employees or employers, service providers trying to provide the best care to their patients or sell to their customers. Negotiation is your magical wand.
Remember these top five things to help you become a better negotiator:
- Always “ASK”: You won’t get something until you “ASK”. As simple as it sounds, the majority of the people assume that their demands are unrealistic, or it will risk the existing benefits, so they never ask. In some cases, it might sound unreasonable or even intimidating, but make sure you do your research well and have reasons to back what you “ASK” for.
- Get ready to hear “NO”: The most important thing you need to be prepared during a negotiation is the word “NO”. Getting a negative response is much better than getting a positive response with an excuse to not fulfil your demand. “No” allows you to find creative ways to keep the conversation going and find a way that might work for both the parties involved. Make sure you are actively listening to the reasons behind their negative response to find out their pain points.
- It’s not always about the “Money”: Negotiating salary or cost for your equipment or your leasing contract might be difficult. Though you should always negotiate and “ASK” for a better deal, it’s not always about the money. For example, when you are negotiating your salary for a new job and you are not getting paid as per your expectations, look for other alternative ways to get a better package, like more paid time off, or compensation to attend conferences or an annual bonus. All these are ways to get a better deal without direct monetary returns.
- Always “Prepare” and “Plan”: Preparation before any meeting is key and there is no shortcut to this. Always prepare and research about the company or organisation, their problems, etc to ensure that you understand what you are getting into. Always plan your negotiation skills and tactics. Validate and practice them with a friend or a confidante to help you understand different perspectives. Try to identify “what’s in it for them?”. This understanding contributes towards clear and effective communication and highlights that you have done your research well.
- Control your “Emotions”: As much as you want, it is unlikely that you will always get what you want. Everyone who is part of a negotiation is looking for their own interest. It is nothing personal so make sure you keep your emotions in check. While positive emotions can help in building trust and lead to better outcomes, negative emotions can damage a potential opportunity and might close any future communications.Irrespective of the outcome, always try to analyse and decode the process. Document what are your strengths and weaknesses to help you prepare for the next time. Keep practicing and make sure you master the skill of negotiation.
https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/salary-negotiations-are-not-happening.aspx [Last access 21/08/2021 at 17:05 AEST]
https://www.jhconline.com/seven-steps-to-negotiating-successfully.html [Last access 21/08/2021 at 17:15 AEST]
Ukti Vora is the Director of Clinical Affairs for an ocular telehealth company based in the United States and is actively involved in developing and implementing telehealth services for eye care professionals.
Many of you might also know her as Nerdy Optometrist. “Nerdy Optometrist” is the 1st ever podcast channel started by an Indian optometrist where you can get all the informative and fun optometry content from experts around the world. She is also part of the Vision Science Academy team as the Senior Program manager, USA.
She has earned her Master’s degree from Lotus college of Optometry, India and her MBA from California State University- East Bay. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and a Fellow of Association of schools and colleges in Clinical Optometry.
She has been a speaker at several national and international conferences, panel discussions and online webinars.
During her 10 years of work experience in the eye care field she has worked in a variety of roles including senior clinical optometrist, faculty, researcher and key opinion leader for CooperVision India.