The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary for Yourself

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary for Yourself

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter offers simple-to-follow advice for how to improve a salary offer that is lacking without you “stressing out.”

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I want to talk with you today about negotiating compensation because it is probably 1 of the most under-talked-about aspects of the job search.  The reason for that is pretty clear. the big boys, the big girls, when they are negotiating compensation have all sorts of ways to play the game.for the little guy, the small person you may be in a blue-collar job working for a small business where someone is paying them out of their own pocket…there is no negotiating there.the basic form of negotiation there is, “Were making you an offer.  You have 2 choices.  Leave it or take it.”

salaryThen there is the average person, perhaps a professional or white-collar worker, small or big company… It doesn’t really matter. when offer comes in someone’s trying to improve upon it, again, there are limited strategies for what you can do.  again, the big boys and big girls have a pretty easy. they are all going to have big-time agents and they are not covered by the same rules. the average person is really stuck because, if you working for a public corporation, for example, they cannot really do side deals because they are subject to litigation. if they do a side deal with you (I will use myself as an example) for some additional benefit, they can be sued because, after all, why did they give it to this white guy and not give it to this individual who is not a white guy?    Why did they give it to the heterosexual guy it not the gay guy? we live in a litigious society and that affects the way the negotiations done.

I want to give you the simplest negotiation strategy that you can use.  it doesn’t always work but often it requires very little strain or stress on your part.  for the average individual, here is the basic negotiating tactic:

If they hit your number, you can go, “YIPPEE!  I’M GOING TO TAKE THE OFFER!  YAY!!!”  If you told them a particular number and they hit it or more, it isn’t really right if you ask for more. after all, what does that really say about you.  You told him one thing and now you want even more?  it kind of makes you look like a pig.

however, if an organization hasn’t hit the number that you been negotiating with them for or they know you been looking for because your agent or you have told him about it during the interview, here is the simplest strategy.

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Step number 1 .  “Huh (said as though you are pondering).” you will make it sound too uncomfortable but you want to pause a little bit then give them something.

“I’ve got to tell you I really love this firm but I think the offer is a touch low. I need to think about this a little bit.  Can I get back to you tomorrow?”

negotiationRight off the bat, what that does is make them nervous. .  You haven’t said no.  You put them in limbo. you given them the carrot of saying, “I love the job.  I love the organization,” but you hesitated.  They know it’s the money.

When you get back to them the next day, I want to be prepared for them with a number of points.

“Other than the money, is there anything that is in question for you?”  Then you ask those questions.then you get to the real one… The money. By the way, with the other stuff, you need to know in your own mind what you’re ready to walk away from.  Not everything should be life and death on the secondary issues. when you get to the money part of the conversation which is what they’re really waiting for,  and you want to say yes to the firm,now it’s just money standing in the way.


Look them square in the eye

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Whether you doing this in person or over the phone, you have to sound a little introspective and uncomfortable. like you are thinking (even though this is all planned and rehearsed).

You say, “I’m a little disappointed in the money. I know we spoke earlier about it being such and such in this, obviously, is less.”

At this point, you pause again and allow them to respond to it. Or, you pause and they don’t respond to it and then you say, “Could you do attach better?”    Then you stay silent for a little bit. don’t break the silence.  Wait for them to respond 1st.

They may ask, “How much more?”

“I would really like the money I was talking with you about. I would like more but I would really like the money I was talking with you about.”

“We can’t go that high.”

“Could you do a touch better? Could you meet me in the middle?”

The 1st option obviously is to go to her asking for. option number 2 is to go for the middle ground somewhere. Just get them to improve the offer somewhere above where they extended it.

Obviously, the 3rd option is that you can turn down their offer. Be prepared to do that because if you going to that negotiation with the attitude of being prepared to take whatever they give you, then, obviously, we going to the conversation little bit differently.

If they turn you down on improving the offer, you can always sigh and ask whether they can improve the review policy a little bit.instead of an annual review, can I give you a six-month review so that you have the possibility of getting a raise sooner.

Then, you are quiet again.

“There is no guarantee that you will get an increase but I think we can get your review in 6 months.”

“Thank you.  That I can say yes to. I can accept the offer.”

Or, you say no based upon what you hear from them. if there unwilling to be flexible, there could be business reasons for that. they could be paying one individual less than what they are offering you who they are bringing in from the outside and they are afraid they might lose the other person. in theory, you should be concerned about that, but in practice, you should because it could impact you as well.

again, to do a quick review, step number 1 is to say, “I would like to think about it.” step number 2 is covering all the other things you need to cover 1st and then getting “sincere” with them when you talk about the money (follow the advice above). they will often raise it, but if they won’t.  They may say, “we can’t.  This is the max in our budget.” then, you ask if they can do a different review policy for you.  Whatever the right answer is, you need to know going into the conversation what you are prepared to do, including walking away.

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes.

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