By David Hults
Salary negotiation tips are always handy as salary negotiation can be overwhelming when you do not know the market value of a new position. Salary negotiation can be somewhat intimidating unless you are prepared. In the past, we accepted whatever salary was offered for the position. We never negotiated. Why do we want to take ourselves through the process of negotiating now? Well, most employers rarely offer the maximum compensation for a position initially. The employer wants the best deal at the lowest price, just like most of us when we shop for a product or service. When you demonstrate skill and value before talking about salary, you are able to warrant the higher end of the salary range for your services.
Take Beverly. She had 15 years of experience in her field. When moving to a new city that was larger and could be more marketable, she was a little uncomfortable with what salary was fair. After much thought and research, she came to a decision on what she would ask as a fair and bottom line acceptable salary offer, of course always open to making an increase. The first salary negotiation rule is that you have a bottom line number (salary) that must be met or you walk. Of course, make sure it is a realistic bottom line number and do your due diligence as to what the market will yield. When Beverly received the employer’s offer it was lower than her research showed, so she countered with a salary she knew was comparable to her value. The second rule in negotiating is that you never negotiate until there is an offer and they WANT YOU. The employer took several days to find a position that would fit Beverly’s salary range and fit her into their organization. This tells me that she effectively positioned herself as a valuable employee and they could not afford missing her as part of their team.
Let’s cover several points that will help you through this oh-so uncomfortable but oh-so important phase of negotiations.
Salary Negotiation Tip #1 – As we stated above, discuss salary only when the offer is made.
Never negotiate unless you have an offer and they want you. Why would an employer ask about salary early on? To eliminate you from the process. Before the offer, you should be talking about what you can do for the interviewer. After an offer is made, you can talk about what the employer can do for you in terms of salary, benefits, etc. When asked about salary too early, you might respond with “I would like to postpone talking about salary until I fully understand the nature of the job we are talking about.” Or you might state, “Well, I am probably not the cheapest, but I am sure that you pay a fair salary, don’t you?” Which brings us to the next step…
Salary Negotiation Tip #2 – They go first.
Let the interviewer tell you the salary range of the position before you state your salary requirements. Once the interviewer’s salary range is given, repeat the top figure and pause before responding. Think about the offer, compare it to what you know the market is paying, contrast it to other similar positions and then respond. What response? The truth – sounds great, sounds acceptable or sounds disappointing.
Salary Negotiation Tip #3 – Once you have given your initial response, let the employer know what you found when you researched the market for the position.
A researched response pays off. The employer knows what the market is paying for the position and is aware of whether they pay above or below that market rate. Your researched response will hold credibility with the employer. To find the market rate of your position, the internet is a great research tool. Websites include: jobstar.org; salary.com; careerjournal.com. Use any other resource you can access to be informed when you enter the negotiation. Do you know others in that field or that position who can tell you what their company pays for the same position?
Salary Negotiation Tip #4 – Once you have negotiated the salary, do not be afraid to deal some more.
Determine in advance what else, besides salary, is a benefit to you. Can you negotiate a flexible work schedule or more vacation? Can you negotiate any expenses (i.e., company car, relocation, cell phone, parking, training, etc.)?
Salary negotiation is a dance. Pay close attention to the signals from prospective employers and your gut reactions during interviews and negotiations. They are reliable predictors of the employment relationship. Salary negotiation tips can help you manage your career and reach the goal of financial independence. Creatively negotiate from the outset and you can do it!
Visit http://www.activ8careers.com for other free career articles.
David Hults author of the book “From Cornered To Corner Office” Overcoming the most unexpected obstacles that stand between you and your career dreams
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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