How Is Your Image Impacted By Your Negotiation Skills?


I was in a discussion this afternoon with an executive looking to engage me as a speaker for their organization.  One of my clients who had brought us together, was in the room watching my “negotiation”/conversation with the executive.

At one point the executive asked me if I would speak on a complimentary basis.  To this inquiry, I politely replied “no” and went on to give an explanation as to why.

After the executive had left the room, my client remarked that it was very intriguing to her to watch the shift in the executive’s attitude towards me after I had stated that I would NOT speak complimentary.

Very interestingly and as to be expected, my client rightly noted that the executive seemed to have more respect for me and suddenly found better/more opportunities for me to address the organization.

My client often suffers from doing too much for her own clients without expecting to be compensated monetarily.  Watching our interaction taught her much.

As I explained to her- working for free, or for a fee that is beneath your value, robs you of your positive image with colleagues and clients.  Not only do you do the work begrudgingly and with resentment that builds up over time, but your clients do not value your work and believe that you are desperate.  As a by-product, they may start cancelling or rescheduling your appointments for this very reason.

In contrast, charging the market value for your services imparts an image of success and value to your clients.  In addition, you will feel your self-worth and value increase AND as a direct result, your work product and quality will improve.

So next time you feel like you HAVE to work for free or give a deep discount, step back and re-evaluate the situation from your image perspective.  Remember that you and your business image are valuable and that you and your clients deserve better- in fact you and your clients deserve the very best!

Wishing you a fabulous image,


About the Author

purisbrandingKaty Goshtasbi has thirteen years experience as an attorney working in all areas of corporate America. She combines her knowledge of what succeeds in corporate America with her inherent understanding of what is a successful personal brand and presence. This in turn translates into clients being in control of their first impressions.View all posts by purisbranding

  1. Allure Nobell
    Allure Nobell07-20-2010

    I am very gratified to see this article. One suggestion of many job developers is to volunteer time with an organization in the hopes that it might lead to a paying position. What I found found s that people do not respect free work. They will expect you continue to work for free because that is how you started with them, and if a paying position opens, they hire someone else.

    • purisimageandstyle

      Thanks for your comment. You make a great point. There is a fine line betweeen working for free to get experience in this economy and being used and thought of as a desperate free employee.

      Each circumstance is different and warrants individual review of the situation, employer and an honest asking: “Will this really ever amount to a paying job or not?”.

      If you get a “yes”, then tough it out and find peace in the moment doing the job and do the job well. Because your reputation will go with you regardless of whether you got paid or not. If you get a “no”, then move on promptly.

      If you are a small business owner, then the rules are very different for you and your business. You cannot work for free or for less than your value. You must also discriminate what will pay off down the road and what will not.

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