Want to Get Better at Negotiating? Start at a Yard Sale, Says This Ex-Military Supply Officer | NAWBO

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Want to Get Better at Negotiating? Start at a Yard Sale, Says This Ex-Military Supply Officer

As featured on Bizwomen, a NAWBO media partner

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez spent 23 years in the Air Force. Her job, for a good chunk of that time, was to buy things—everything from office supplies to plumbing equipment to furniture to industrial-sized paper shredders.

And every time you buy anything, it’s a negotiation, she said during the NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“[It’s] basically just the technical term for discussions or conversations to reach an agreement,” Fernandez explained. “We’re negotiating each and every day of our lives.”

So in two decades, she got good at negotiating those deals and contracts. When she retired from the Air Force as a master sergeant, she did the same thing for Raytheon and other defense contractors. Her experience now spans contracts from $1 to $100 million.

“As I like to say sometimes, I can negotiate the paint off a wall,” she said. At the conference, she highlighted five common negotiating mistakes—and better yet, what you should be doing instead.

Read Fernandez’s tips, and the complete story, here: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2015/09/want-to-get-better-at-negotiating-start-at-a-yard.html