People are afraid of negotiating yet it is often essential to obtaining your value in the market. My guest today, Claudia T. Miller, and I discuss negotiating in a way that you will understand how to do it for yourself.

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Jeff Altman
So my guest today is Claudia Miller, a career negotiation strategist who helps serious professionals secure dream jobs with dream salaries and their dream companies, including fast growing startups, rock star mid sized companies, and Fortune 500 firms and tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook. Some of these people have received as much as $50,000 bumps in comp. Business Insider selected as one of the top most innovative career coaches of 2020. Her work has been featured in Forbes, MSNBC, Yahoo Finance, as well as other major news outlets. Claudia, welcome, glad to have you on. Appreciate you making time.

Claudia Miller
Thanks, Jeff. Thanks for having me.

Jeff Altman
You're very welcome. So, here we are. One of the most complicated times in the world. And there have been other complicated times, and they'll be more complicated times. So when the economy's in turmoil, you know, crisis, blowing up, pandemic, panic, all those sorts of things, is it even possible to negotiate a better comp for yourself?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, of course, it is. Jeff. You know, I always like to say that even in turmoil, there's going to be companies in huge need of talent, especially to withstand with what's happening in the industry or within the company.

Jeff Altman
So with that, knowing that there's a need, and we're going to talk today, folks, about, you know, some of the myths and fears that Job Hunters have about negotiating because I know a lot of you, you work real hard to get those offers, and you're afraid to blow it. That's not the way you think. You're afraid of blowing it by negotiating like, they're suddenly going to say, "this person can solve our problems and help us make or save $10 million but we're going to rescind the offer because they asked for $5000 more. So, what sort of myths or fears do you tend to see people have with regard to negotiating?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, so there's a lot of myths and fears happening around negotiation, especially when we don't actually do this, whether it's weekly, monthly, even annually. I've actually worked with a lot of professionals who are in executive positions, have been in the industry for 20 plus years and have never negotiated their salaries. And it all comes around this fear, the unknowing. Most, the most common myths and fears that I've seen is, you know, "What if I lose the job offer if I negotiate? What if they pull back the offer? Or will they think that I'm being greedy? Or is maybe they think that I'm not really interested in the role in the company. And I'm just more after the money. I don't want to be seen like that person. I don't want to seem pushy, and I don't, I'm not dealing well with confrontation. And I don't want to have a confrontational conversation, whether it's the hiring manager, or someone in HR.

Jeff Altman
What do you think people get that idea from?

Claudia Miller
Well, I mean, it's very common, especially here within the US where we don't discuss salary. It's very hush hush, like, we never talk about money and if you do, you're seen as . . . you're boasting, or you're trying to show off, or you look sleazy. So I get it. A lot of us don't talk about money, especially how much we make or how much do our peers make. So they like to keep . . . a lot of us don't discuss it as much. And therefore we kind of suffer in silence. We figure out "am I getting paid enough?" Maybe you heard potentially a co worker or peer that does the same work as you is getting paid, you know, a lot more than you are, then you see the stats and figures saying, you know, this is how much you're being underpaid. But there's also that fear of, we don't negotiate. So is that something we do common every day and let alone at such a big level of where you know, we were discussing 5, 10, 15, even 20k salary increases.

Jeff Altman
I think it's funny, I've always thought employers are behind this behavior, because information is power. And it's the people who work on the payroll systems who are always advantaged because they get to see what the comp level ranges are, and who's making what. And I know historically, people I've known on payroll systems have always thought, "Oh my G-d! That idiot is making 15,000 more than me! What's wrong with these people?" But they didn't have the information. So I've always thought that employers are behind this. Because if you keep the masses quiet and not talking about this stuff, no one knows any different. So what do people do in order to negotiate given their . . . Well, let me back up for a second here. Yeah, they're afraid that they're going to lose the job. They don't want to look greedy. They don't want to seem as though they're bad people. How do you break that? I know, there's other things that people are afraid of doing? How do you start breaking that mentality?

Claudia Miller
Yeah. So it's all around mindset. One thing I recommend to my clients is to write down what fears or what thoughts do they have around salary negotiation. Like we mentioned, "Oh, my G-d! They're gonna think I'm greedy. I'm not I don't want to deal with a confrontation. I'd rather just take my job offer and be grateful." And then you know, start working, maybe they'll recognize all the great work that I do. And then they'll just promote me or give me a salary increase. And, you know, there's different ways of approaching salary negotiation. So whether it's internally within a company, or you're a job seeker. So one of the best ways to really increase your salary, especially as a job seeker is being prepared. You want to make sure you do a lot of research within the company. Listen to their company earnings. What is going on with their press release? What are their competitors doing? You know, do they have a very a product or service that, you know, they're, you know, whether clients or customers are raving about. So do a lot of this research and, you know, when job seeking, people tend to practice maybe one or two, maybe three days before the interview, and trying to get a lot of this information as possible. But three days, you can't compete with someone that's been prepping for two to three months, with, you know, just two, three days of work. So those people are always going to have the advantage because they have time in their favor. And they've had time to practice. Get company insights. Built almost a great business case that will set them apart from the competition and the competition, I mean, all the other candidates they're competing against.

Jeff Altman
And I love that idea of developing a business case. And I'm wondering, you know, sometimes I'll tell people that I coach, have you considered speaking to some of the people who work there to get a sense of salary ranges, because institutionally these days, there's some places in the country where a firm can ask you what you're making. And there are other places where they can't. Good news for those who can't, because you're hired based upon value but, as opposed to the previous salary. But for those places where you're trapped by the, "So, how much you're looking for? And how much do you make now, that seems like a pretty big increase." You know, I tend to think in terms of speaking to people internally beforehand to just get a sense of ranges so you know, how to play the cards out? Is that what you tend to suggest to people or do you approach it differently?

Claudia Miller
No, Jeff, I totally I'm in agreement, I actually tell my clients to reach out to two to three levels above where within the company itself. And why is that is because if you ask a person that'll be your peers, they're not going to want to tell you about their salary or what range they're in. But if you ask maybe one person that used to be in that role, or now they're two, three levels up, they can say, "Oh, yeah, for that role, you know, typically, you should expect between this average, initial fall within those lines, especially here within the company, it becomes easier to disclose as opposed to like, Oh, I make anywhere between this number. People are tend to be more honest, if you go two to three levels above.

Jeff Altman
That's a good point. Because you're right, people are reluctant to talk. And if you have an ally within the firm, like if they happen to introduce you to the organization, as someone I coached recently stepping into a CMO role. And, you know, he was approached by someone that he knew who joined this firm, who knew they would get an employee referral bonus if he was hired. And thus, they were walking him through everything along the line, including what the concerns were. Now, was he going . . . he was coming from a larger firm to a smaller firm. Would he feel challenged? All the sorts of worries that organizations have, and that's we were able to strategize, walking in, about how to communicate with them, including the salary material. It was a terrific success. And I'll just simply say, folks, she's telling you some good stuff here. Pay attention. Don't click away. It's really worthwhile. First thing is talking to people a couple levels up so you get real information. What else can people do to strategize on the way in, in order to deliver well.

Claudia Miller
Yeah, you kind of touched on it a little bit, too, is having someone refer you, you know, almost give you the red carpet because they get paid out on bonuses. So there's a lot of companies especially like these bigger companies, where if an employee refer someone, and they work there for at least 90 days, they can get paid anywhere between $300 to $3,000. So that's the fastest way for you to go through that process, and then be able to get a lot of that company insight that allows you to prep and bring over like a lot of these challenges and pain points that the employer is currently going through. And then you could be that person, that savior to say, "I know you're currently going through this," or "you're looking to achieve X, Y, and Z. I can help you with that." The best way, the best strategy that I've been able to get clients, I mean, up to $50,000 in salary increases, and this doesn't even include any salary . . . doesn't include commission and bonus, my I apologize. So this is just base salary around $50,000. And it's through that strategy I just talked about being so prepared, being able to stand out from the competition that I like to use this analogy that you never offer the same salary you do to Michael Jordan than to someone that's just coming out of college with some, you know, rookie experience. There's, you just can't compete with Michael Jordan. He's at a whole nother level. And that's how I like to position my candidates to be at a whole nother level that they automatically command and get those higher, you know, end of that salary range. And all they have to do is negotiate maybe an extra 5, 10, $15,000 salary increases. But the employer doesn't know that they just made a 50k salary bump.

Jeff Altman
Right? It's funny, we had the same thing with that person I mentioned earlier, where ultimately, he and two other finalists had to present to a panel, their thoughts about how to do the role, what the challenges were and how they were going to tack on. They walked out of the meetings after the three and said, "This guy was so well prepared." He had some very clear ideas about what to do, used their language, which is another little thing in the presentation, speak the language of the organization. So that they wanted him. The president or the firm wanted him very badly. And everything they did from that point on including the negotiation, when they lowball him a little bit. He was able to tell me it was a range of this to this, and you've offered me the low end. Let's come back to the high end.

Claudia Miller
Yeah, a good Oh, sorry.

Jeff Altman
No, please.

Claudia Miller
Oh, I was gonna say I know some people are shy, or they don't want to be confrontational. A negotiation conversation should never be confrontation. It's a conversation with another person. And a quick line that anyone can use, even if you're an introvert or shy is, you know, I'm actually looking for (let's just say the salary can pay anywhere between 60 to 100 K), and they offer you, you know, $75, you can say, "Well, I'm actually looking for a salary of $95,000. You know, is there any way we can close this gap? And then just stay quiet? Let them figure it out. Let them get creative with that solution.

Jeff Altman
Let the silence do the work. You know, it's kind of like, when people make offers, I have a video out called The single . . . "The easiest way to negotiate a higher salary for yourself." And the technique I suggest to people is when you get the low offer, you suddenly go, "huh," and you're quiet. And they know there's a problem right away. Especially when you say, "I'd like a little bit of time to think about it. Can I get back to you day after tomorrow?" So that in this way, they know there's a problem. So they start to get ready for the negotiation, which isn't a bad approach. Stall and put the pressure on them.

Claudia Miller
Yeah, even when they tell you "Well, you know, this is really what we have budgeted for," you can say "No, I'm very excited about the role. You know, I just need a few days to look over the offer letter as well as the total comp plan. Do you happen to have a resource where I can reference that," because there's so much more you can negotiate than just your salary. I would say always negotiate your salary but there's also whether it's PTO or bonus, commission and professional development. Now that we're working from home, a work from home allowance so that way, you know, you can have for your Wi Fi, your phone and maybe a monitor, that you need to buy a desk or whatever that may be. There's just so much more and I even had a client where they typically didn't go through the comp. plan or the benefits, and then they realized their, their child had, you know, had to do a lot of medical costs, and their current health insurance was covering a lot of it. This new company, they would have had to pay almost an additional $600 a month, because it wasn't covered through that service. So that's what I mean. You don't want to have to go negotiate your salary, and then say, "Oh, and by the way, here's some additional things." You kind of want to do it all at once, so that way, it becomes a total package, and you're able to express, you know, what you're looking for overall.

Jeff Altman
Given the fact that there's so many things that can be negotiated, which things should the person start with in the negotiation, so that, you know, they can escalate, get some easy wins and go from there?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, so I mean, for, you know, people that are working at a nonprofit, and it's very grant based, it's going to be a little bit harder to negotiate your salary just because it's all grant based, it's a nonprofit. If you're going to nonprofit, especially the smaller ones, you're probably not going there so much for the salary, more for, you know, you're able to contribute, you know, to the community and be able to do a great thing. So that might be a little bit limited. Now, you can always say, for example, if you're a grant writer, you can say, "you know, I, you know, I'm very interested in this role, and I'm more excited about the mission that I'll be able to work with, you know, within the organization. What if we were to discuss this within six months, and then from then on, we can discuss, again, compensation based on my performance." So if you were able to bring, I don't know, an extra $500,000 in grants, then you can negotiate your salary. So it's different strategies depending on where the person is going. Now, if you know that there's the market is paying $20 to 30 k salary higher than what you're currently being paid, that should probably be your primary focus. Now, if it's aligned within like five to 10 k of what they're offering, do that, but also look at additional benefits. Like I mentioned, the health insurance, especially if you have a loved one that uses a lot of those medical benefits that you don't want to incur those costs, and it outweighs what you might have received in your salary increase.

Jeff Altman
Yeah, it's funny. So often, people are afraid of raising these subjects, especially the benefits ones, where third party recruiters basically tell them, "oh, no, that's off the table! That they do it for you, they got to do it for other people." Yes. That's right. But what they're trying to do is close the deal, folks. And I just remind you of that, because, especially when you get to offer time, if you're working with a third party recruiter, all they care about is collecting the check at the end of this, and you're the easier person to beat up. So just be aware of that, folks. At that point, they are not your friend, even though they've been sweethearts up until that point. All they care about is let's bring the deal home.

Claudia Miller
And I can move to the next hire for the next role.

Jeff Altman
Exactly right. So we're talking here about negotiating the secondary items, before we get to the money. Did I get that right?

Claudia Miller
Well, I mean, it's you want to look at the total comp plan. You want to make sure that you're . . . when you give a range too, like you're discussing salary, don't give the salary range that the market is paying. Start with the lowest being with what you want, and then the upper range of that salary when having these conversations. And you're able to know what that upper range is, by doing your research and to talking to people like we mentioned that have been in those roles that should know, you know, what is part of like, that payment or that salary for that specific role? And then looking at other benefits that the company offers. Glassdoor does a great job of like letting you know, here's what the base salary is. And more than likely plus bonus and commission. There are companies that are known for giving sign on bonuses, maybe even get offered one. And that could be a good way to close that gap. Or through stock. A lot of companies don't really increase much in base salary, but you get a lot of that increase or benefits through stock or restricted stock units. Where I've seen where clients are, you know, making $250,000 and maybe they made a jump and they're now making 260,000. But now, they get a monthly, not monthly, but maybe quarterly or an annual check of an additional 40, 50,000 all because they focus also on those additional benefits that are happening. So again, this is part of the comp plan. It's still money in your pocket that you can do with whatever you wish to do. But it's again, looking and realizing what are you most interested in? What do you want? What should you be focusing on? And I was thinking about like, what is your worst alternative that you're willing to take? And your best alternative? Also, if you're going to go back to school, do they have a professional development stipend? Will they be paying for your schooling as well? Like, those are things you want to take into consideration because again, it impacts your how you get to spend your money. And you want to make sure that you take a holistic overview of what your lifestyle is, and what your goal is, and how the company is going to help you get there.

Jeff Altman
Can I ask you to back up one second? And for those people who don't know, an RSU is a restricted stock unit. Could you explain the basics of what an RSU is?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, so some companies typically, whether it's like in sales, or big companies like Google, Microsoft, video, Amazon, a lot of them, what they do is, since they have stock that is worth a lot. They might say, "okay, we're gonna give a certain amount of stock during this time or during your performance reviews. We may not give you a salary increase, but maybe we'll give you this amount of stock, and it's restricted, so it works on a schedule. So you may not be able to tap into that maybe for one year. And then after that, you get a check." Not a check but these are stocks that become available, once a quarter or monthly. However, the company has that set up, and then you can go ahead and sell that. So, if you get, let's just say five, like five stocks, and they're each worth $100, you can sell though, and that could be an extra $500, every quarter or monthly, or however that system is set up.

Jeff Altman
I used to negotiate with one of my consulting clients, and RSUs became the successor to stock options in the days after Sarbanes Oxley, when firms just didn't know how to account for stock options anymore. So it got converted to the idea of an RSU. And what I would negotiate there is what the vesting period was. Often I wasn't able to get it for them. But sometimes I could. And what happens is, let's say they grant you 25,000 RSUs at the time that you join based upon the public stock price of whatever it is. It vests annually at 20% increments. Well, you can sell that; it's actually yours, you know, at the annual milestones, and different firms structured differently. So try and negotiate those amounts as well as the one that when the vesting period is. So what else should we talk about in terms of how people should negotiate? You're the expert for today?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, so I mean, for salary negotiation, there's a lot of preparation that needs to happen. It's not something that you do once you get the job offer. And then you say, "All right, let me Google how to negotiate my salary offer." By that you might be able to get a small increment, but you've left a lot of money on the table at this point. Best way to get those big salary increments is get doing your research, getting to know the company, like you said, the voice of the company, using their language, getting company inside, what are they currently, you know, what are their challenges? What are their pain points? If they're a public company, what are they saying on their earnings calls? Their goal for the next quarter or six months or the next year that you can use that as ammo during your business case? But the next part also, is you being comfortable. You should be practicing having these conversations. There are people that, you know, like I said, most of us don't negotiate. Where if I were to say, "you know, go to Starbucks, next time you go to Starbucks, you know, go ahead and ask them if you can get a 10% discount, just or any store whatsoever. Most people won't do it just because I get it's not part of our culture. It's not something we do very often. So you definitely should be practicing. So negotiation conversations, just like I mentioned earlier, you know, "I'm actually looking for a salary, a salary base of 100,000. How can we close that gap? And being comfortable. Not, "So . . . I . . . 100,000? That's what I'm looking for it? Can you . . . ? Is there a way that . . . " All of a sudden, your tone, your body language is speaking for you, and you're less likely to get that increase or, for them, to take you seriously. They can already say, "You're right, clearly this person is not comfortable negotiating. They're gonna take whatever we give them. They're just kind of, you know, just trying to play the game, but they're doing a horrible job at it." That's why you want to practice. Whether it's with . . . in the mirror and then with a partner or a friend. I have clients that actually, you know, talk to their pets, probably not cats, but dogs or their bird or whatever that is just so they can start practicing feeling comfortable saying it out loud. And I even have my clients record themselves. listen to the audio. Do you sound confident? Do you actually wait or do you you feel very uncomfortable with silence that all of a sudden you start rambling on? Also with video, how do you come across? Like, this might be conversations during a video call, or they might ask you during the interview, "What salary range are you looking for? Or "for this role, we're looking to pay this much. Is that aligned with what you're looking for? So it's just getting comfortable with that, and being able to have those conversations that are not very common.

Jeff Altman
And every time a firm asks you a question about money, that's when the negotiation has begun. It's not at the backend. They're collecting data from you about what you're willing and unwilling to do. So, even if they say, "you know, this job will pay 125 to 150. Are you okay with that?" "Oh, I don't know, you want to be a little flexible?" A question about your flexibility is always in negotiation. Their question about what you're earning, and whether you're willing to work within this range, they do it in the first conversation with you. You don't know anything about the job, and they're negotiating. You have to be able to respond to that in graceful ways that deflect it, so you can get on to the evaluation assessment to collect information. And thus, how do you tell people to deflect at that first conversation?

Claudia Miller
Well, I mean, like you said, you just talked about that. You don't even know what the responsibilities entail. So you know, if you have like a recruiter or hiring manager or someone in HR, wherever the first interview and before even know about the role, they're saying, "you know, what, what is it . . . What is the compensation that you're looking for in this role," or "what is your salary range before we move forward? So that way, we know we're on the same page." That's typically what they tell you. Things saying, "you know, what, Jeff, you know, I'm, you know, I'd definitely be happy to discuss that. But first, I really want to get to know a little bit more about the roles and responsibilities that way I have a better insight and better overview of what it's going to take," or "what you're looking for in your in the person in XYZ role." You're deflecting and saying, "hey, by the way, I want to know more about the role," and additionally it showcases that you're more interested in the role than just the compensation. And again, if let's just say, you're a manager, and you're applying for a senior manager role, and you've only managed, let's just say 30 people, and then you asked, I don't know, 15, 20k dollars in increase, or you're looking at least around that salary range. And then afterwards, you realize that you're going to be managing a team of 300 with a budget two to three times and probably big responsibilities, then isn't that 20, 30k, probably low balled yourself at this point. So you want to get more insight into the role. What is this going to take? How are you measuring success? You know, how many people will I be working with? What are your current challenges within the organization or the department? And do you have the resources to be able to meet those demands? That information is going to be vital in order for you to assess where should how much more can you be asking for? And how much should you getting a paid, that will make you happy with the role. Because the last thing you want is to negotiate. Let's just say you make a 10,000 or $15,000 increase from your previous job. And now you move into a role and then you within two, three months, you're going to say "I'm being underpaid. This is so much work. This is ridiculous." And you're just going to beat yourself up and the company and the job seeker, the candidate are both going to be miserable, because you're not going to be performing to par or you're going to be miserable. Are you going to be impacted. And then you're also going to be hating the company. Because you know, you're being underpaid at this point.

Jeff Altman
And folks, just remember, the goal when you join a firm is not to have regrets, is to be able to walk in cleanly and excited. And, you know, be in a flow state when you, when you join the organization. And not feel as though "Oh, they beat me up to take this job. Okay, I'll do it," and harbor that resentment. And many of you have told me, "oh, I would never do that!" But you do it. It's human nature. People wind up being resentful, and it poisons the well for the new organization. So better to tackle it proactively than to tolerate it because you really don't. So, I just want to reiterate one thing that that we've said and that is there's lots of opportunity to deflect that opening question about money and put it back on the "I need to learn a lot more." And it also suggests to me that one of the things that I think a person might consider doing is not just simply review what their salary range might be if they were static and joined an organization at the same level with the same responsibilities. But a step up in class, as well. Like you gave the example of the person who manages 30,35 people versus the owner of the new role, which is a great opportunity, but carries a bigger scope of responsibility, more effort. And it's a step up in class for the person. So it suggests researching that, too when you walk in just in case you're surprised . Did I read between the lines correctly there?

Claudia Miller
Yes, yes, you did, Jeff. And, you know, one of the things too, that I've seen happen is, people usually ask like, well, "When do I know I can negotiate? You know, do I even bring this value? And my thing is a good way to know, if you're getting the job offer, you should always negotiate. They already brought you in for an interview that makes you qualified and good enough to be able to negotiate and start having those conversations, especially when it comes to the process of when you do get that job offer. That means that they see you as a valuable candidate that can bring a lot of value to the company. And like you mentioned, anytime you start discussing that, that's when the negotiation is starting. And I even say it happens even before. The way you submit your resume, the way if you're able to be referred that already elevates you as a candidate throughout your interview process. You're elevating yourself and building a stronger business case that makes you the most desirable candidate among every other person out there. And if you're able to really touch on their pain points, and what they're looking to achieve, that people will pay more money. So, an example is, I had a client and they actually told her that the job paid anywhere between 120 to 130. We had her prep, she did a lot of work behind the scenes. And by the time they came to it, they actually offered her 138,000, that's $8000 more than from the salary range, they said the position was willing to pay. Why? Because she was a desirable candidate, and they didn't want to lose the opportunity of losing her. And they also don't want to offend. You know, nobody wants to go with their second option, especially when you made such a big impression. You want to carry that throughout the entire process so that way, when it does come time for them to offer . . . for him himthem to give you the job offer and then you're negotiating, you're . . . you'd rather be on the higher end of that salary range, and negotiating 10, 15, 20k, maybe additional bonuses, or whatever, that may look like then to have to justify why you should be on the upper range of that salary, and not even be able to tap into these additional benefits that you could have been exposed to had you prepared in time,

Jeff Altman
What form didthe preparation take that you put the person through.

Claudia Miller
So we looked through the company. So like I said, I I always like to check the health of the company as well. So just because they're interviewing you, you know, I know most people feel like, "oh, they're interviewing me, but it should really come across as you're interviewing them. You want to make sure, especially with everything happening right now, you want to take the him and pulse of that company, make sure that it's viable, it's going to be somewhere that you can go into and be successful. So I had this person, look at their press release, even the day of their interview, it actually got released that this company had just been acquired by a bigger company. So she came in prepared, saying, you know, I understand that this company just just got acquired, you know, do you see, know what its gonna look like based on like responsibilities or the goals due to this new acquisition or this merger. And they were, she was able to have a candid conversation with the vice president of the company. And it just felt I was able to build rapport. And it showed that she was on top of it, it had just been released that same morning. It was like around, I don't know, six, seven in the morning, and she had the interview around 9:30 in the morning, so she knew to be prepared. And she already had built a business case and had come up with a story bank of everything that just went align It just felt perfectly. And we identified in the first interview from the hiring manager that, you know, she was able to ask, "you know, am I your top candidate for this role? Do you have any hesitations in me fulfilling this job successfully? And he was like, "Nope, I think you'd be great. I would love to have you on board. But I also need to get the approval of my manager and my boss, I will tell you that they're looking for someone more with a consultant background." So we had time to prepare. And we positioned her and showed her consultation or consultative skills that all of a sudden they're like, "Oh, well, you're perfect and you have experience consulting, which he did in different aspects of her previous jobs but just never had the consultant job title.

Jeff Altman
It's interesting how packaging really makes a difference in every step of, of an interview process. So I love that you that you outline that, especially the press release part. because so few people do that I knowl.Him I'll periodically tell people to set up Google alerts for press releases related the firms that they're interviewing with, but sometimes those come in a day late. So the notion that you're up to date with what's going on, because surprises are rarely good in a Job Search,

Unknown Speaker
yeah.

Jeff Altman
What haven't we covered yet that we really should?

Claudia Miller
Yeah. So another thing that I feel that with when it happens to salary negotiation is, you know, there's just so many aspects to it. We talked about mindset, preparing yourself, knowing that you do, are a great candidate, should be negotation, negotiating and going behind the scenes and talking to people within the company to give you insight, as well as prepping during the interview, you know, making sure that you're making a casefor why you're the top candidate, as well as being prepared and practicing over and over again. So that way you come across as very comfortable. The other thing is, is reframing your thoughts and this is kind of tied to mindset as well, where people think that negotiating your salary is going to make you look greedy, it's gonna, it's just sleazy of you. And what I tell my clients is that negotiating your salary actually gives a glimpse into the company of how you're going to be vouching for the company themselves. Especially if you're looking to move into you know, roles above is, you know, they're not going to see you as sleazy, they're seen as you know your value, and you're willing to have a very candid, but very calm conversation or this salary negotiation. And that also shows the company that when you are representing the company themselves, whether you're negotiating vendor contracts, you carry yourself the same way. If you're not negotiating yourself, especially if you're going for a manager position up, how can I trust you, as a manager to take care of the company and manage or negotiate these contracts when you can't even do it for yourself? Are we going to be paying additional, because you're so uncomfortable negotiating at this point. So you want to showcase your negotiating skills. And there's a stat out there now, I can't remember if it's 79, or 80% so don't quote me on that. But it was something along the lines of 79% of candidates Tthat negotiate their salary, got the salary increased. And they actually stayed longer within their companies because they were happy, like they came in happy knowing that they were going to get paid what they're looking for, what they're valued at, and there was a company they're excited about. So that's just kind of a also a little bit of background with salary negotiation, how to reframe yourself.

Jeff Altman
In the movie. The Godfather, Al Pacino, has a moment where his older brother character is making it seem like he wants to do the hit, because it's personal to him. And he looks up at his brother, and says, "It's not personal, it's all business." And folks take a lot of things personally in negotiation, because of their own anxiety. So, calm yourself down, recognize it's just business on their part and get you a few dollars less, they've got more money in the budget for other people. So since you're responsible for yourself as the CEO of your own organization, with your own shareholders, your wife, husband, partner, the kids, the dog, the cat, whomever, you're the CEO of your own organization, with shareholders, at least ask the questions, at least give it a shot. If they say no, they say no. And then you have another decision to make as to whether or not to say yes, or whether you say no. And sometimes I know with clients of mine, negotiating for them began at the "No," not before. They pretend. But they really didn't negotiate until the "no." So, is anything else?

Claudia Miller
Yeah, so um, I wanted to give a kind of a case of what may look like behind the scenes. So I actually had a client, like you said, everyone in payroll knows what people are getting paid. And I had some insight where they were telling me how prominent it or how common it is for people not to negotiate, especially women. They're less likely to negotiate. And so this is at a company where they had different divisions and it was VP. So there was a gentleman who was getting paid around $225,000 for a VP level and this person was getting hired in. She happened to be a woman, and was going to be VP of a different department. Both value, really great backgrounds, education, everything was there, and she didn't negotiate her salary and she got 180,000, while her peer is getting around 225,000. Now, as time goes on, those salary gaps will keep increasing. So now you're not only behind 10,000, but as years go by now you're behind 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, or even 70,000, depending how far you go in your career. But this is, again, a VP level. So don't feel that once you get to that director or senior director or VP role, then you're going to negotiate. You need to start now. Because as the more you don't negotiate, the more money you're leaving on the table, and you're going to be . . . this person is getting underpaid, almost $40,000 doing the same role. Imagine what you can do with an extra $40,000 a year.

Jeff Altman
And I want to take on one extra level and make it concrete. Over five years, assuming three to 5% increase per year, we're not talking about $40,000, we're talking about more than $225,000. And most people I know can't afford to leave that on the table. So you know, and here's the extra piece I'll just close out with and say, and you're going to be evaluated in the future, not just simply based upon what you know, but firms are going to say. "She's making 175, 180 and we'll talk about two. She'll be happy with that. And she won't be treated as seriously as the $225 person. It's just the way people think. Unless it's important to cut it off now, rather than let it linger This has been . . . I'm sorry.

Claudia Miller
I was just saying you just, I think touched on a great point, too. You str seeming more valuable. So if you were to have a, I don't know, an expensive $100,000 car you're going to take more care of it than you were to have a $20,000 car, right? It's just . . . it happens with it. There are probably places you won't even park it in, you'll probably be careful and same thing when you are talking about employees are being considered it. That person, that guy, that VP is going to be considered at a higher level for whatever it may be just because of the compensation because he happened to negotiate while the other person who didn't negotiate is seen lesser of because she didn't negotiate. She's getting paid less therefore you pay what you get for, right! So get paid on the higher level and all of a sudden it also brings that value, command and respect that comes with that salary, pay because you do happen to negotiate and build a strong case for you and why you're worth it.

Jeff Altman
Thank you. This has been fun. We've got to do this another time. How can people find out more about you and the work that you do?

Jeff Altman
Yeah, so they can go to ClaudiaTMiller.com. So it's t as in Tom. So ClaudiaTMiller.com and you know, it's my website. And through there, you know I'm offering 30 minute complimentary calls where whatever you want to discuss, whether it's sound negotiation, job search, is your resume working? How can you improve in your interviewing skills, we can discuss that during the complimentary session. And I can give you pointers and tips on how you can optimize and get better results. And it's all free. Like I said, ClaudiaTMiller.com

Jeff Altman
It'll be in the show notes, folks. And folks, we'll be back soon with more. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. There's a lot more on my website, TheBigGameHunter.us. Just go to the blog and go exploring. There are 1000s of posts to help you. Also to obviously do coaching. If you'd be interested in a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. There's a place on the site, you can schedule that. Last thing I want to mention that I've got a number of books on Amazon that are quite good under a job search essential series that I have. And the one I'm going to focus on today is the ultimate job interview framework, which teaches a framework for interviewing that is extremely good. It'll help you stand out from your competition. every step along the way. It's available as a paperback as a book for kindle as a Kindle book. I also have is a video course at the big game hunter.us forward slash interviews. However, you're right, it does make a huge difference. I'll be back soon with more. In the meantime, I hope you have a terrific day. being great

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff 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, 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 2000 episodes.

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