Expert Advice: Salary Negotiation

Salary Negotiation

Hoping to get a big raise at your year end review? Want to negotiate a bigger package at your new job? “Salary negotiations can be anxiety-filled on both sides but they shouldn’t be” says Thomas Neubauer, a managing partner with The Gap Partnership (a firm providing negotiation training) to Entrepreneur Magazine. Our CEO Bejan Douraghy recently spoke on a General Assembly panel about salary negotiation strategies.

Negotiations are not just about the billion dollar deals, boardroom strategies, or company takeovers; it’s a process we use daily. This panel discussion is designed to help you understand the process of negotiation, using techniques and steps you can apply in getting what you want successfully. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, asking for a pay raise, renegotiating a current contract, or slicing your company share, knowing how to effectively negotiate compensation is necessary for every profession.

The key takeaway? Every negotiation is different. The first step is doing your research and determining your worth. If you’re asking for a raise or a rate increase, do your research. Find out what other professionals in your industry are making. Here are some places to start:

Salary Comparison Resources

  • Glassdoor
  • Talent Zoo
  • LinkedIn
  • Alumni Associations
  • Talent Agencies
  • Recruiters
  • Business Associates

Don’t forget to select similarly sized companies when comparing rates. You won’t be able to ask for as much at a start up as you’ll be able to at an established worldwide agency. Consider the total package when looking at salary as well. “It’s not just about the dollar amount at the end of the day,” Bejan says. Weigh in benefits like health insurance, paid vacation days, etc. Maybe the company can’t give you extra money, but they could give you more PTO.

Asking for a Raise: Internal Promotions

Bejan pointed out that there is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) for every job. Before asking for a raise, make sure you know what the KPIs are for your job and that you are meeting them. Unsure? Just ask your boss. Once you feel confidant with your performance markers, make sure you are:

  • Getting to work on time
  • Willing to take risk
  • Continually learning new skills
  • In alignment with the Company values
  • In alignment with the CEO’s values
  • Able to Quantify HOW you add value to the company

Once you’ve identified all these things, just do it. There doesn’t need to be fear in negotiating, the worst they can say is no.

Salary Negotiation Tactics

Heard the old adage “whoever mentions money first loses?” Not true. While you don’t want to bring it up as the first question of the first interview, you don’t want to leave money on the table. Feel free to bring up the numbers when it feels appropriate, and keep the following in mind:

Aim High: Offer your first number above where you want to settle to leave room for negotiation. You can always negotiate down, but it’s incredibly hard to negotiate up if they accept your first offer.
Know When to Walk: Pick the absolute lowest amount you will settle for. Know what it is and be prepared to walk away if you don’t get it.
Don’t Lie: Or hold back information. Employers can find out how much you were paid at your last job in many states, so embellishing will only make you look untrustworthy.
Be Tactful: Planning to play one job offer against another? Go for it, just be tactful. Give them your “walk away” number and honor your word. Say “if you give me this amount I’ll start tomorrow” and then follow through.

Go Forth and Negotiate

Now that you’re armed with some basic tools, you’ll be ready to negotiate away. Need a few more pointers? Click here. Need a job to practice your skills on? Check out our open positions here.

Other Posts You Might Like

Do’s and Don’ts: Negotiating Salary
How to Convince a Hiring Manager You’re Right For The Job
Finding Common Ground


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