|10 Best Tips
to Win Salary Negotiations
beaten in the negotiation game? Here's a list of must-dos to gain the
upper hand in bargaining sessions.
You know you're good. You've got the skills, the experience and the
expertise to do the job well. Despite this, how come you always seem to be
on the losing end in salary negotiations?
The article "Avoid Salary Negotiation Pitfalls" identifies two
types of candidates that lose out the most at the negotiating table. One
type has been with a company for five-plus years and doesn't know his
worth. The other is the applicant who doesn't know the details of her
compensation package and can't compare it against what is being offered.
As a consequence, they are often at a distinct bargaining disadvantage,
unable to get the upper hand and finding themselves bulldozed into
accepting an unsatisfactory salary offer.
If you're one of these hapless folks, don't lose hope. Take to heart these
expert pointers on successful negotiating and be a better match for the
employer in the next standoff.
1. Get updated on salary rates.
It may seem strange, but a lot of candidates still go to an interview with
only the vaguest idea of the going market rates for their positions.
Conduct a bit of sleuthing and networking beforehand to have a stronger
playing hand in the negotiating game.
2. Assess your value.
Ask yourself what you are worth. Write down your skills, abilities,
talents, and knowledge, and be prepared to show your future employer the
benefits you can bring to their company. Understandably, the recruiter
will try to get you for as little as possible, and it is up to you to
convince them you're worth much more than that.
3. Don't divulge salary info.
Don't tell a potential employer what your present or most recent income --
or your expected/desired salary for that matter -- is too early in the
game. That is, not until you receive a definite job offer. Never state
your salary history or expectations in your resume either. Say instead
that you're "willing to discuss in an interview" your present
salary or that your desired income is "negotiable." Why this
need for caution? Once you expose yourself, you're less efficient at
negotiating your value to a company, compensation experts say.
4. Discuss income ranges, not specifics.
The rationale for this is to give you some room to maneuver. If you ask
for a specific salary that falls below the company's minimum budget, the
employer may just give you the lowest possible rate for that position. If
you oversell yourself, you may turn out to be too expensive for their
taste. Better: Be flexible and talk in ranges, going for an offer in the
middle to the high end of the spectrum.
5. Don't be ashamed to negotiate.
If you're shy about selling yourself, don't be. Potential employers look
favorably on aspirants who aren't afraid to negotiate, since it shows the
jobseeker knows about current market rates and puts a high premium on
herself -- surely positive qualities of awareness and self-confidence.
6. Bide your time.
What if you're finally given an offer? The cardinal rule is: Don't rush.
Offers made over the phone, in particular, shouldn't be accepted. Insist
on a face-to-face meeting to discuss details. If the offer is made in
person and isn't what you had hoped for, refrain from speaking for a while
to indicate to the employer that you are not happy with the package. It
just may prompt the interviewer to raise his offer. Then ask for a day or
so to "think the offer over" and request for another meeting to
finalize discussions. Be enthusiastic but noncommittal.
7. Explore your options.
If the company states flatly that their offer is final, find out if they
can offer non-monetary perks instead, such as allowances, bonuses,
performance raises, stock options, profit sharing and the like. Or you can
ask for a promise of a raise -- which should be given in writing, of
course. Or if the offer is really hard to swallow, ask if they'd consider
other work arrangements including part-time or consultancy work.
8. Set your absolute limits.
Here is where your prep work comes in handy. You earlier evaluated your
worth and computed the compensation you'd be comfortable with. Now decide
whether the offer is one you can live with.
9. Learn from the past.
Practice makes perfect. Look back on each negotiation and extract the
lessons that can help you become a stronger negotiator the next time
10. Money isn't everything.
We all want to get paid well, no doubt, but don't obsess over money. The
salary aspect shouldn't be your all-consuming concern. Don't be blinded by
the financial aspect and grab a high-paying job that could later turn out
to be a dud because you get no satisfaction and sense of achievement from