Salary Negotiation Tips
Salary Negotiation Tips
a) Negotiate With Understanding
Remember when the negotiations are over, you'll have to work with the person with whom you're negotiating. Besides your future success may depend on that person. So, while you want to negotiate the best possible deal, you need to do so in a way that doesn't damage your image. At the same time, the employer's primary concern isn't negotiating the least expensive compensation package it can get away with. Rather, their focus will be on getting you to accept the job.
b) Understand Your Needs and Those of the Employer
To be successful in this type of negotiation, you need to examine your priorities. What do you really want? Are you comfortable with a low salary and lots of perks? Understanding your needs will also help you determine the type of company you want to work for. For example, a family-owned company may be able to offer a competitive salary and a large bonus based on results. A start-up new venture company, on the other hand, may not be able to offer market salary, but could be in a position to offer you stock options. By recognizing what an employer can and can't do, you'll be able to determine what issues you should press.
c) Set Your Price
Expect employers to try to purchase your talent and experience at a discount. That's what employment and compensation negotiations are: a simple "buy-and-sell" matter. And as the seller, you must set an asking price going in. Some interviewees carry along a lot of money in their wallets to feel valuable during negotiations.
d) Be Strictly Professional
Even if you admire the person you're negotiating with, remember that it's a business transaction, not a personal exchange. Separate the salary and employment issues you're discussing from how you feel about the person who wants to hire you. Remember that the outcome of your discussion will affect your family's well-being. Some executives put a family picture in their shirt or suit pocket and touch it occasionally during meetings as a reminder to stay on track, no matter how persuasive the employer is.
e) Understand The Dynamics Of The Particular Negotiations
Sometimes you'll have skills that are in great demand. And sometimes, you may be one of several qualified candidates the company would be happy to hire. Sizing up the situation and understanding the relative position of each party will help you determine when to press your advantage and when to back off.
f) Never Lie, But Use the Truth to Your Advantage
It's not only wrong to lie, but in employment negotiations, it's ineffective. If you lie during negotiations, sooner or later you're likely to be caught. Once you are, even if you don't lose the offer, you'll be at a tremendous disadvantage, and your credibility will always be suspect. On the other hand, total candor won't be rewarded. You're under no obligation to blurt out everything you know. You can determine what you want to say and how you want to say it, and try to put everything in its most positive light. Rehearse it the night before in front of the mirror.
g) Use Positive Language
Never say "never" or "no" to an employer's offer. If the company is resisting your requests, use neutral-sounding words to describe your position by saying that you find the offer "disappointing," "unfortunate," "surprising" or "unacceptable." You also might try asking an employer to reconsider its offer, or ask for additional time to consider the terms to keep the door open to favorable changes. The point is to avoid words that make you sound angry or unwilling to negotiate further. The process should continue until you arrive at a satisfactory agreement, unless you blow it prematurely. Remember negotiations should leave you and the prospective employer happy, ultimately you will have to work together, and all this will have bearing on your future relationship.
h) Use Uncertainty To Your Advantage
The more information you convey to a potential employer about your bottom line, the more likely it will limit what you get. Before making an offer, a company typically tries to determine what it will take for you to accept the position. With that information, the prospective employer will be able to determine the minimum package it needs to offer. While they may not offer you as little as they can get away with, if you've divulged too much information, they likely won't offer you as much as they might have otherwise. By disclosing exactly what your current compensation is or exactly what it would take to get you to leave your job, you'll force a potential employer to make its best offer.
i) Focus on Your Goals Not Victory
Many times in negotiations, the act of winning becomes more important than achieving your goals. And it's also important not to make your future boss feel as if he's lost in the negotiations. You'll have gained little by negotiating a good deal if you alienate your future boss in the process.
j) Know When to Quit Bargaining
The one sure way to lose everything you've obtained is to be greedy. There comes a point in every negotiation when you've achieved everything you could have reasonably expected to gain. While most companies will want to treat you fairly and make you happy, few companies want to hire a greedy hanger on. This may even cause the offer to fall through, or mar your image. Employment is an ongoing relationship. Job negotiations are the starting point for your career with a company. Get too little and you're disadvantaged throughout your career there; push too hard and you can sour the relationship before it begins.
k) Get Written Confirmation
Getting something in writing provides closure and prevents any misunderstandings between you and an employer. Take charge of this process by writing a letter spelling out the details of the deal you've agreed to while they're fresh in your mind after the interview. It prevents misunderstandings that might result from poor memories, changed circumstances or, at times, bad faith on the part of an employer.