Successful salary negotiations are when everyone wins. Lack of preparation for job compensation negotiations is the main reason for lost income and/or benefits. When the time comes to negotiate, the job seeker either spouts out any number or doesn’t say anything and takes the position as offered. However, if the job seeker would have just prepared themselves for this conversation, they would have secured a higher starting salary.
You see, employers never start at their maximum, they leave room for negotiation. Sadly though, only a small percentage of prospective employees actually negotiate their salary. There is nothing inappropriate about trying to get the best salary package possible for the hard work you will put into a new job.
The first, and probably the most imperative, point to understand about negotiations is, when the deal is completed BOTH parties should be happy. WINNING IS NOT EVERYTHING! It isn’t like negotiating a car purchase, where you definitely negotiate to win, because you will never have to speak to the car sales representative again. How you conduct yourself during salary negations, however, will set the stage for your long-term business relationship.
It is important to stay calm, do not get emotional or argumentative. Be sincere and reasonable with your points. When you are going into a negotiation session have clear, concise ideas about what is important to you and what you would like to see in the job offer. You will not get everything you want, so keep your most important objectives in mind. When you are presenting your case, ensure that you list one or two strong reasons. If you provide a weak reason this will give the employer a reason to dismiss the item presented.
Many job seekers make the mistake of negotiating before the employer is sold on them. If you do this, you will not be optimizing your compensation package, you may not even get the job. Do not go into a job interview thinking the first topic of discussion will be salary. The only time you can discuss salary is after you have been given an absolute offer. You have more bargaining power when a company has decided to hire you. Never put in an absolute salary number on the job application, otherwise, you will end up restricting yourself.
Knowing how much you’re worth, in terms of the skills you possess, is important. Do your homework. It is your responsibility to know how much other organizations pay for a comparable position, with the same amount of experience. You can ask people in similar fields for their opinion, and the Internet is full of salary websites that calculate how much you should be getting paid. When you come to the negotiating table with your facts straight, you are more likely to get what you want.
Instead of demanding something, state a question to the person you are negotiating with. For an example, don’t say, “That is not right, because …” You should phrase it like this, “Your point has some validity to it, but can you look at it from this point of view.” Then the employer will answer the question and may sway to your side of the table. If the company discovers themselves the validity of your point, instead of you telling them, you will be in a win-win situation. The odds are against you if you tell them their point of view is incorrect.
To remain in high standing with the company be well mannered in your approach. Begin your salary negotiations with thanking the potential employer for their offer on the good position. When you remain positive throughout the process, you are more likely to get positive feedback. When you know your true value, you can negotiate with confidence.