Salary Negotiation Tactics – 6 Practical Tips

I firmly believe no matter what the circumstance is for your initial job offer, you should negotiate for more (as long as you do it right)! It does not matter whether the economy is booming or not, once you get a job offer – negotiate.

Just two months ago, a friend got an 20% increase in his contractor rate after he negotiated. In this case, his client low-balled him as many would do during the recession because it’s an employer’s market. Many people are so thankful that they were offered anything that they forget to ask for a fair compensation. It’s still smart and okay to negotiate even in a tough market.

Here are four salary negotiation tactics that have worked for me and my clients over and over again. There are also two tips on what not to do during salary negotiation. Being tactful is key.

Four salary negotiation tactics

  1. Be creative with what you negotiate. Your compensation is much more than just salary. There is also signing bonus, performance bonus, moving expenses, car stipend (if you have to drive far for work), 401K matching, title, vacation time, or pay grade. For example, even if the company can’t pay you a good salary now because of caps set in place due to the economy, if you have a higher pay grade setting, then your future salary and increase could be higher.
  2. Be specific and reasonable - tell the company what you actually want (a 10% increase, a guaranteed 5% bonus based on performance, a VP title, etc…) and make sure it’s not ridiculous. I was hiring someone who actually asked for 30% more in her salary when I know she was already getting a 15% increase from her last salary. We almost rescinded her offer.
  3. Tell them at least one and preferable two plausible reasons why you are negotiating for more. It’s no good and could even be offensive if you just said you want more money and can’t say why. Some good reasons are:
    1. you have a better offer (whether you want to bluff about this is up to you as just like Poker, there is a chance they won’t call you on it);
    2. your market rate is higher (meaning the average paying rate right now for this level is X% higher than your offer);
    3. your current offer is a big step down from past compensation;
    4. sometimes the sympathy card could even work and say “I have a new baby and I am just trying to make sure I can get by and 10% more could really help!” You would be surprised at what you can leave on the table if you don’t ask.
  4. Express your enthusiasm to work for the company when negotiating. No employers wants to give you more unless they know that you are almost certain to take it if they agreed. Also, it doesn’t hurt to convey that you have very good reasons (other than compensation) why you want to work for the company.

Two things to avoid during salary negotiation

  1. Don’t ever give an ultimatum – or anything that could be construed as an ultimatum. Salary negotiation is an art form and takes practice. Don’t ever back yourself into a corner because you most likely still want to take the job if they said no.
  2. Don’t be arrogant or an a__ when negotiating: Remember the person you are negotiating with is mostly likely your future boss or someone who can influence your future boss’ opinion of you. This salary negotiation should be a good experience for both sides

More people have been surprised at what they can get when they used the right salary negotiation tactics. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you do it right. With that said, there is no guarantee anything will change with your offer. If the company declines your proposal, be sure to thank them for their consideration and make your decision on whether to join based on existing offer. Either way, you would have gained more experience on how to approach negotiation in the future. We will change jobs many times in our careers. The experience you gain in mastering these salary negotiation tactics will pay off again and again in the future.

Good luck out there! I am always in your corner

- Lei

Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully

When you negotiate, do you use a system? Do you haphazardly jump into a negotiation without any planning or thought for what you might do if you hit roadblocks? In order to negotiate successfully, good negotiators prepare before a negotiation.

The information that follows outlines seven steps you can use to negotiate successfully.

1. Gather Background Information: When gathering background information, include the style, values, ethnicity, culture, demographics (younger negotiators on/using twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their way of communicating, versus those that are slower to use these mediums) and other information that’s pertinent to that particular session.

2. Assess your arsenal of tactics and strategies: The more you’re aware of how to use the appropriate tactic with the appropriate strategy, applied at the appropriate time, the more options you’ll have and be able to execute during the negotiation.

3. Create Your Negotiation Plan: Consider the overall strategy you’ll use for the negotiation. Break strategies into tactics. Assess possible strategies the other negotiator might employ. Take into consideration the use of red herrings (Note: Red herrings are items that have little to no value to you that you position as having value, but items that possess real value to the other negotiator). Also consider how you might apply pressure to points (leverage) throughout the negotiation.

4. Engage in the Negotiation Process: Observe body language and mannerisms. This can be done in person, via the phone, and in writing (e-mail, etc.). Note the style in which the other person negotiates (i.e. friendly (let’s get along), reserved (I’m not quite sure how this is going to go and I’m apprehensive), hostile (I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours – the only way for me to win is for you to lose – I’m in the driver’s seat; it’s my way or the highway).

5. Closing the Negotiation: Be on high alert for the conclusion of what you think is an agreement, that serves as the opening of the next phase of the negotiation; in some cultures, this is a common practice. If you’re unsure of the other person’s sincerity, put deliverables into phases of the negotiation.

6. Conduct a Postmortem: Dissect the negotiation. Assess what went right – What could have been improved upon – What you learned from that person about negotiation styles – What lessons should be taken forth into other negotiations – What went wrong – Why did it go wrong – What could you have done differently – What prevented you from using a better tactic/strategy to allow you to gain control of the negotiation).

7. Create Negotiation Archive: Create an archive of your negotiations and store them in a repository. Set up keywords to cross-reference sections, tactics, and strategies in your negotiation write-ups, to be used for the extraction of quick ideas and serve as a resource, for future negotiations.

Whether you’re a negotiation neophyte or a seasoned professional, by using the platform of the “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully” as your negotiation foundation, you’ll be considerably ahead of the other negotiator… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• When negotiating, seek advantages that allow you to exploit your strength, but don’t disparage the other negotiator in your enthusiasm to obtain victory.

• When a negotiation outcome is less than expected, learn from the experience. Commit to getting better. Increase your knowledge of how to use the right tactic, with the right strategy(s), aligned with the right situation.

• Make sure you observe and control your biases when assessing the person with whom you’ll be negotiating.

Flower Arrangements Are an Environmentally Friendly Present

In our current society it is not difficult to get caught up with the material aspects in life and although this happens to be normal given the type of societies which are prevalent nowadays, it is also an aspect that might not be in the greatest interest of the world in which we live. This happens to be why it is a good idea to begin to think in a respectful way to the Earth when we are considering the method in which we desire to convey ourselves at times when we send a present. There is always going to be many ways to communicate that we care, although buying things that may bring forth more issues into the world is not something that is easy to feel good about. While a earth friendly metamorphosis is definitely under way, we might not always know the way that we can do something good for the planet and still give a great gift because after all, we still need to be able to impress the recipient, don’t we?

Well, in today’s society there is actually a priceless kind of present that many folks often do not think of when it comes time to get a gift for someone’s birthday or other major festivity in an individual’s life. It is much easier than one might believe to get something that happens to be kind to Earth yet still conveys the way you feel if you think in about giving a biodegradable gift. When you wish to take into account for a gift which doesn’t abuse the earth then take into account natural gifts, try floral arrangements! Of course, this is one wonderful present which may create emotional impact in the heart of whoever we want to offer the flowers to and at the same time, be something we can feel confident it will not damage the earth which we all live on. Since flower arrangements are a material of our earth that happens to be replenished constantly, it is a wonderful idea to pick them. Flower arrangements will die in their normal setting and their beauty can’t last in the wilderness, but when they are picked for a gorgeous bouquet they last longer not just in a vase, but within our memory bank, also.

This gift remains a perfect way to show someone special how you feel and get a floral arrangement right into their hands no matter where they might live. Flowers have always been a unique present that works for all people no matter what culture they are from. Keep in mind that this planet offers us the most amazing things and we do not ever have to create products in a work shop just to have the perfect expression of our appreciation to give!