Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

For information on partnering with, please contact us.

Tips for Wise Negotiations

(Q.4.) I GIVE MOTIVATIONAL TALKS FOR business groups and in corporations and market myself by cold calling companies I believe will want them. Usually the response is positive, so I know I'm providing a useful service at a fair price. But I was discouraged last week after I made email contact with the marketing director at a company that was a good fit. At first she was very encouraging and anxious to set a date. Then she sent an email asking when I was free and what I would charge. When I replied to both questions she replied that there was a change, and she wouldn't be able to use my talk after all. I know it had to do with the fee, but I know it isn't out of line with others in the area. How do I respond? I don't want to start dropping my price but I don't want to keep losing business.

(A) YOU BROKE DR.JOB'S FIRST RULE "He who names the first figure in any negotiation loses." You can't save this deal unless you are ready to negotiate for a lower fee. In future always ask, "What is the most you can pay and I will try and come down to it." That way you'll have an honest estimate to begin negotiating against. Many speakers are flexible because of the economy, and this way you can do that gracefully and get more jobs to make up the difference.

Want More Money? Ask for It

Target Social Media Marketing Plan