Creating Win-wins in a negotiation

Written by on August 25, 2019

I just jumped off of a coaching call with a client. She's a successful PM and has an excellent track record of delivery. A true gem.

Her company informed her two weeks ago that they can't afford her salary anymore.

She became too expensive. Would she be interested in becoming an independent?

What did I tell her?

Despite her best guess: I told her that this is a terrible way to become independent.

First, the daily rate they are offering to her is nowhere near fair: how can they afford a fair freelancing fee if they can't afford an employee salary + benefits?

Second, it feels like they are trying to get rid of you. And they don't understand the consequences.


I thought you were a fan of becoming self-employed?

Look: I am a fan of my clients becoming independent, and it is actually one of the ultimate goals of my coaching programs.

No doubt about it.

On the other hand short term benefit shouldn't be detrimental to the long term benefits.


Back to Negotiation Basics

Our strategy has been to make sure

1) Fix the lack of information on both sides

2) We'd try and turn this into a win-win.

After a short brainstorming we agreed on it, and here's what she told them last week:

Thank you for this opportunity, but I love this company and my future in it. However, I can understand that the budget is an issue for a Project Manager position in the company for the moment.

How about training me to become more specialized in X and promoting me to a Director in X (a position they had open for a while)? This way you don't need to increase my salary immediately so I cost the same to you, and you have this position filled with lesser salary than allocated. And I promise dedication in my new role, as well as a smooth hand-over to a new hire.


She was quite nervous in the beginning.

Was she being too pushy? What if this kicks off her way out of the company?

And it is understandable to think in this way. You're only anxious about things you care enough about.

Negotiation is all about understanding every position. 

Intuitions only get you so far.


And then this happened ๐Ÿ‘‡

She just told me that they accepted the proposal and as of September she will start receiving training to bridge the gap ๐Ÿ‘Š ๐Ÿ˜


The company probably has noticed that after:

  1. They would lose a stellar person, just to cut a little
  2. They would probably have to fire her, which will cost them at least about 6 months of salary 9 benefits
  3. They have to find and retrain another person.


I'm proud of her so that she has turned this seemingly negative encounter to a positive outcome and wanted to share the lesson with you.


Now: A Question for you

Are you interested in becoming a Freelancer PM, Tech Leader, or Technical Person?

Want to find out more? Check out the full guide on How To Become an Independent Project Manager!

In this comprehensive guide Youโ€™ll learn:
๐Ÿš€ What you need to be prepared for an independent life
๐Ÿš€ How to see your self-employed journey as a project and create your customized roadmap
๐Ÿš€ How to prepare a CV that gets clients
๐Ÿš€ How to test waters BEFORE diving all-in
๐Ÿš€ How to get clients and sort out your preparation
๐Ÿš€ Set the mechanics right from the beginning for a successful, satisfying, long freelance career
And more! Are you ready? Then, read on!

Why should you care what I have to say? Because Iโ€™ve been there, done that.  I've coached many professionals like you to become a self-employed consultant. I'm happy to help you too.