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 We almost rescinded her offer.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

A Twelve Step Program to Break Your Addiction to Ineffective PowerPoint Presentations

The twelve step program created by Alcoholics Anonymous has been used as a model for many people to break their addiction to alcohol, drugs and other destructive behaviours. It has been adapted to many situations to deal with different problems people have. I started thinking about these steps when I was considering how to stop people from creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations that are ineffective and damaging to their careers.

In this article I am giving you my twelve step program for breaking the addiction that many presenters have. These presenters have become accustomed to packing their slides with text and data and mostly reading the slides to their audience. They know others have somehow managed to use visuals effectively in presentations, but they need some help to break the habit they have.

I hope these steps will help you or someone you know to start to make the changes that will help improve your presentations, and lead to even greater success. The first six steps deal with making a decision to change and committing to the work it will require. Steps seven through twelve address how to make the change.

  1. I admit that my abuse of PowerPoint has become unmanageable. I can’t seem to figure out how to stop inflicting overloaded text and data slides on my audiences. My audiences don’t find my presentations effective, even if they aren’t telling me that to my face.
  2. I have come to believe that there is a better way that can save my presentations. I have seen other presenters deliver effective presentations with persuasive visuals, so I know there is a better way. I see that they start with structure, create and use visuals that illustrate their message, and deliver their presentation as if they are having a conversation with the audience. I’d like to be able to do this too.
  3. I have made a decision to turn my presentations over to this better way of presenting. I believe that I can change my ways. I believe that it is possible and that it doesn’t require an innate design ability to do it. I believe that I can learn the skills I need to be able to create effective PowerPoint presentations.
  4. I have made a fearless inventory of my skills at design, creation and delivery of presentations. I have used honest feedback from others and independent assessments to truly evaluate what I am good at and where I need to develop skills. I have been encouraged because now I know what I need to learn in order to become a better presenter.
  5. I have admitted publicly that my presentations have not been as good as they should have been. I have committed to my family, friends, colleagues and my boss that I know I can create and deliver better presentations. I have done this publicly so that I can count on their support, guidance and encouragement through this process. I also want them to hold me accountable to make these changes. I look forward to celebrating with them as I see the changes result in successful presentations.
  6. I am ready to address my presentation faults. I know this will involve hard work and I am willing to commit to the efforts that are necessary. I will allocate the time necessary to study and practice these new skills.
  7. I have asked for assistance to address my shortcomings. Knowing that this will take time and effort, I have asked for approval at work and home for time and funding to get the training I need. I have made the time in my schedule for the required learning, better preparation of my presentations, and more rehearsal for each presentation.
  8. I have made a list of the mistakes I have made using PowerPoint and am willing to correct them. From the fearless inventory of skills in step four, I have listed the areas that I need to improve on. I will seek out the training, books, and other resources that will help me improve in these specific areas. I will seek the guidance of coaches and others who can give me the expert perspective I need.
  9. I will make my presentations better for future audiences. I know that the training and learning will be difficult at first to implement in my presentations. Change is difficult when you start it. I commit to the work required to make the changes and will push through the difficult times in order to make the changes I have committed to. I won’t give up when the going gets tough.
  10. I will continue to evaluate my presentations honestly and admit mistakes when I find them. I will use checklists and rubrics to evaluate all aspects of my presentation, from design, to content, to delivery. I will be ruthless in my evaluations so that I don’t slip back into the practices I once followed. I will ask experts for their honest opinions to help check my progress.
  11. I will continue to learn and develop my presentation ability with the goal to become the best presenter I can be. I know that this is not a one-time effort. I will need ongoing guidance and ideas in order to continue to improve. I commit to continuous learning through books, blogs, videos, courses, newsletters, conferences, etc. I will ask presenters I respect which thought leaders they follow and learn from them.
  12. Having realized the errors of my presentations in the past, I have tried to share this message with other presenters and demonstrate better presentations principles when I present. When I see an article, video, blog post, tweet, or other item that demonstrates this better way to present, I will communicate it to my network through my conversations, e-mails, blog posts, tweets, etc. I will recommend to my colleagues, bosses, and friends, those books, experts, web sites, blogs, newsletters, etc. that have helped me.

Now it is truly up to you. I know that changing from your old ways of presenting is difficult at first. I’ve done it and so have many fellow readers of my newsletter who have written to thank me over the years. You can do it too. I am here to help and encourage you along the way with articles, my blog, slide makeover videos, and many other resources. Now take that first step.

Old-Fashioned Road Present May Not Have All The Answers

While popularized on television shows, an vintage path show is not necessarily a bunch of antiques hitting the road to provide folks a glimpse of history. In numerous instances the participants in the indicate may well be showing off their collections of antiques, but they’re also interested in getting and selling other antiques. While the old-fashioned street display that was broadcast on Public Broadcasting has traveled the country, offering men and women the opinions of expert appraisals of their possessions, not everyone is convinced the specialists are all that knowledgeable.

There’s no doubt that the benefit of an product is subjective, based on age, situation and usability. Nonetheless, every single appraiser, even those applied with such productions as the antique path present, are going to have a difference opinion as their knowledge in the specialized area may be diverse. The thing to recall about appraisals, is that they are what that one person’s opinion is of the product.

Similar to collectibles, the true benefit of an item is what an additional person is willing to spend for it, and there numerous diverse aspects that play into the equation. When visiting an antique street demonstrate, it can be crucial to bear in mind that a high appraisal by reflect the approximate value of an vintage, promoting it for that price tag may be challenging if you can find no buyers willing to pay out that amount.

Whilst it has often been said that beauty is inside eye from the beholder, with experiences of attendees of an old-fashioned street indicate, the benefit could be the eye on the potential buyer. Even if an item has received a low appraisal, if it will be the one piece that a collector needs to total a set from a particular era, they might be willing to pay out an exceptional price to total their collection.

With numerous items shown throughout an traditional street present, there might be someone looking at items made inside a factory that was operated by a family member generations in the past. Being able to purchase something that could have been produced by a great-great-grandparent will add sentimental benefit to the product, in spite of any appraisal offered at the traditional street demonstrate.

While many on the old-fashioned street present specialists are truly knowledgeable about particular kinds of antiques and can present a timeline of production, situation and approximate value, it is critical to recall that an product is only as worth the selling price that someone else may perhaps be prepared to pay out to own it.