There are easy ways and hard ways to negotiate . . . and ones in the middle. This one is a mid-to easy way.

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I am here today to give you another tactic for salary negotiation. I have published a lot of them as videos; the reason I publish a lot, is because each of you has a different ability to tolerate the stress of the negotiation. Some of you want what I call the easiest way to negotiate a higher salary for yourself; some are open to the 2nd easiest way; some people really want to get in there and fight. There are also lots of different gradients between those extremes.

Here is 1 of those midrange options that I think is very helpful.

The 1st thing is that if the firm wants you to fill out an application, leave the salary area blank. If you need to scribble something, do so but generally leave it blank. When they verbally ask you, "I noticed this was blank in your application (they know what you're doing), How much are you making now/how much you looking for?" You basically respond by saying, "I'm much more interested in the nature of the work. I will be doing for your firm than I am a specific number. So, no, I'm not going to take $14,000 per year, but I would expect you to be reasonable with your job offer."

From they are, some firms are going to go and take a 2nd stab at this. They will say something along the lines of, "you know… I need a number here." You can respond by saying, "I will consider any reasonable offer."

What this does is stall. If they go at it again, "I don't know how I could be more clear. I would consider any reasonable offer."

Once they have made the offer, assuming that this worked ... By the way, I forgot to mention one thing. If it doesn't work, you've learned something about the firm. You've learned that they just have to "break you shoes. Open I didn't want to use a male anatomical part there)." They are there to break you down so that you can form.

Particularly if you are in sales and marketing, never ever conceded this point. What are you saying about yourself as a salesperson? As a matter of fact, after you have given the answer the 1st time (What's really important to me is the nature of the work in the product and service) what you want to be doing if they come at you again is to say something along the lines of, "hey, look, if I made it easy for you, you would question my ability as a salesperson, right. What my job here is to give you a sense of who I am and what I'm capable of, what my achievements of been and what I can do for you. I asked that I be treated fairly and let's move on here."

Again, if they push you, it tells you something. They really want you to operate. "In a square box." You don't want to work for a firm that you can find you in such a way (in my opinion).

Here's the fun thing to do once you get the offer. Ready? This 1 I love.

I want you to pause for a second, "were going to be making you an offer. We really want you to come on board. The seller part of the offers a base of $120,000. " Then they start laying out the additional percentages.

I want you to turn around and go (Particularly if you are the sales), "120. Hmmm. " What that does is let them know that the number isn't quite right, and opens up the conversation for negotiation. From there, you can follow up with data that you have gotten from various sources about what someone with your background should be earning in a role like this.

You can always except the 120 and all the other stuff And after you've done the salary, you cannot go at all the other conditions and benefits, too. Whatever the percentages are on top of the base, start trying to negotiate those as well. Start at the salary number just by repeating it back because with that does is give them the idea that you are comfortable saying yes and that is a subject for negotiation that they want to enter into with you.

So, again, another approach, another way of doing a negotiation that I hope you can execute


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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