Salary negotiation skills come in all levels of complexity. In general, the more elaborate the compensation package, the more complicated the negotiation. However, if you are a regular person with a straightforward pay package, you’re unlikely to need complicated negotiation advice. A well-thought-out approach could help you secure a wage that reflects your worth.
Here is some simple yet effective advice picked from the best salary negotiation training providers. Use these tips to increase your chances of receiving a salary offer you’re happy with.
Know how much your skills are worth
Almost every skill and ability has a value attached to it. That value is what forms the basis of your pay. So, find out what value your skills have before you begin a salary negotiation. As Jim Rohn, an influential motivational speaker and entrepreneur, said: “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”
There are a number of resources to work out the figures you need. To start off with, try using salary calculators on sites like Payscale or Glassdoor. Job postings can also give you an idea of the going rate for your skills.
People in your network are another great source of information. Who do you know in the same profession who’s willing to compare notes on salary? Talk to both men and women (the gender gap still exists), and to people with different levels of experience. You may also speak with a recruiter who specializes in your industry.
Ask for more than you expect to get
Another effective tip from salary negotiation skills training is to ask for a higher amount than you expect. When you make a salary request, your employer is likely to negotiate downwards. So, if you ask for the exact amount you hope for, you’ll likely end up with less than you’d like.
For example, let’s say your current salary is $65,000 a year and your research uncovers that you could earn $73,000. If you then go on to ask for $73,000, you run the risk of your manager countering your request with a lower amount. While that amount represents a raise, it might not be what you want – or what your skills deserve.
However, avoid going overboard with your figure. If you give your manager a number that exceeds their perception of the value you deliver or your skillset, they may not take your request seriously. So, ask for a figure that’s still in line with the value you deliver to the business and your expertise, and ensure you’re ready to back up your figure with research.
First talk about your performance, then talk money
In salary negotiation training, one crucial technique that’s taught is how to start the conversation. How you begin your discussion usually impacts your outcome. According to Lee Miller, “You never win by talking about money early on.” Miller is the author of Up: Influence, Power, and the U Perspective – The Art of Getting What You Want.
When you start discussions with how much you want, you run the risk of reminding your employer of how much you cost them, and can appear self-centred – which can be a slippery slope. Miller suggests, and experts tend to agree, that “The time to talk about money is when they’ve fallen in love with you.” In a conversation about your salary, that feeling tends to pop up when you show what value you bring to the company.
So, put together a list of your accomplishments. Do your best to assign a dollar amount to each achievement, as companies often rate your results based on how your results impact their bottom line. If the discussion is with a new company, either use the most recent achievements in your last role or monetize the goals they have assigned you to achieve in your new role.
Think of what else you can negotiate
Your salary is not the only thing you can negotiate. So, before you pass on what could be your dream job because the money isn’t right, look for other benefits or perks you can negotiate.
You might ask for reimbursement for job-specific training, or for extra paid days off/vacation days, etc. Remember that great talent is hard to find. If an employer feels that you have the right skills and qualifications, the company might be willing to find a way to work with you. So, don’t be afraid to ask.
Practice your pitch
Negotiation is a skill, and as with most skills, preparation and practice are key. So, run through your pitch a couple of times before the actual conversation.
In a salary.com survey, 44% of the respondents said they didn’t bring up the subject of a raise during their performance evaluation. Fear is the biggest reason why many people don’t negotiate their salary. One way to overcome the fear of negotiating is to practice.
Also, if you rehearse beforehand, you’re more likely to remember how to effectively use different strategies you learned from a class you took or an article you read. Ideal is to rehearse in front of someone you trust. This makes your dress rehearsal more real and therefore effective for you, and your listener is bound to have a few gem pieces of advice to offer.
If you still have any doubts, here’s something to remember. The more you negotiate, the easier asking for a higher salary should become, and the more confident you will feel.