by Kate Wendleton
I’ve got all the money I’ll ever
need if I die by four o’clock.
Salary negotiation strategy begins with the first interview. “Position” yourself to make your negotiation smoother.
- Negotiate the job.
- Outshine and outlast your competition.
- Get the offer.
- Negotiate your package.
Step 1. Negotiate the job–make sure it is at an appropriate level for you. If the job is too low level, don’t ask about the salary–upgrade the job. Add responsibilities until the job is worth your while. Make sure the manager agrees that this new job is what he or she wants.
Step 2. Outshine and outlast your competition. Your goal is to keep in the running while offering to do more than your competitors. Pay attention to the progress that is being made in your meetings. For some jobs, it can take five interviews before the subject of salary is discussed. All the while, your competitors are dropping out. Follow up your interview with a note reminding the manager of what you will do: satisfy every need and respond to every objection.
Step 3. Get the offer. Once a manager has decided that you are the right person, the discussion of salary will come naturally as the manager tries to sell you on the company.
Step 4. Negotiate your compensation package. Most job hunters hear the offer and then either accept or reject it. That is not a negotiation. Here are some hints to help you:
- Know the company and the industry’s pay scales.
- Know what you want in a negotiation session, and know what you are willing to do without. Negotiate one point at a time. Negotiate base pay first and then the points the employer would easily agree to. Save for last the issues of conflict. Be prepared to back off, or not even bring up, issues that are not important to you.
- You are both on the same side. Each of you should want a deal that works now and works later–not one that will make either of you resentful.
- Care–but not too much. If you desperately want the job–at any cost–you will not do a good job of ne-gotiating. You must convince yourself, at least for the time you are inter-viewing, that you have alternatives.
- Try to get them to state the first bid. If they say: “How much do you want?” You say: “How much are you offering?” If pressed about your prior salary, either say what you are looking for, or be sure to include bonus and perks. Some include an expected bonus or increase in salary.
- If the manager makes you an unacceptable offer, talk about the job. Look disappointed and say how enthusiastic you are about the position, the company, and the possibility of doing great things for this manager. Say everything is great, and you can’t wait to start–but your only reservation is the compensation. Ask what can be done about this.
Be reasonable. As the saying goes: the bulls win, and the bears win, but pigs never win.
The preceding is an excerpt from The Five O’Clock Club Book Series by Kate Wendleton. It contains 39 pages on salary negotiation. The Five O’Clock Club, Forty-Year Vision and Seven Stories Exercise are registered trademarks of The Five O’Clock Club, Inc.