Learning the basics of salary negotiation is critical if you want to be paid what you are worth. The first offer a company makes is almost never their best offer, and you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table by not negotiating.
Follow these simple steps to increase your salary during your next job offer:
- Don’t begin negotiating until they have told you they want to hire you
- Don’t negotiate against yourself; make them make the first offer
- Repeat back the offer they made and say “hmm”
- Don’t say anything for at least a minute and see if they will raise their offer
- Counter their offer using your research
What would a conversation like this actually look like?
Them: “So how much are you looking for in terms of salary here?”
You: “I know what the market is generally paying for this position, but lets start with your range. What do you have budgeted for this position?”
[Do whatever you can to make them make you an offer. Don’t negotiate against yourself.]
Them: “Well we were looking to fill this position in the $100,000 – $115,000 range.”
You: “$115,000 hmm”
[Always repeat the highest number in the range that they gave you. Contemplate this number in your head. Think about how much of a hassle it is to change jobs and if its worth it. Use silence to your advantage and don’t say another word for at least a minute. People hate awkwardness and will do almost anything to avoid it. Often they will feel compelled to stop the awkwardness by making you a better offer.]
Them: “Well we could probably go up to $120,000 a year. Is that better for you?”
You: “I have researched what this position pays in this city as well as at this company and I think I am really worth about $125,000.”
[Make sure you are making a statement and not asking a question. Again make them say the next word. Resist the urge to back pedal and accept their offer at $115,000.]
Them: “Yeah I think we would be okay with that.”
These steps are deceptively simple and many have trouble sticking to them. Remember that being able to remain completely silent is critical to your success. It will feel very uncomfortable and you will want to fill the silence by giving in. But these five minutes of awkwardness could be worth thousands of dollars.
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