How to Negotiate Your Salary: Managers' 13 Top Tips
"Does anyone know how to negotiate salary?" My friend asks at one of our semiregular wine nights. Our conversations usually run the gamut from what's new with the Kardashians to what's new with our careers, so this question is not an unusual one. As twentysomethings who are just getting started in our industries of choice salary, ask for a raise, and get that promotion we've been dreaming of. Given this, our answers to the salary negotiation question usually fall somewhere in between "I do not know" and "Can you talk to your manager?"; any salary negotiation advice we have to offer is really just our best guess.
Every time questions like these arise, I find myself yearning for some kind of magical lamp I can rub-except instead of genie, I'd like to conjure a managerial professional. Who understands the dos and don'ts of salary negotiation better than someone who's been on the other end of it? Who knows which strategies tend to work, and which ones are guaranteed to turn off your potential employer?
Since lamps like these do not exist (at least, not to my knowledge), but managers do, I spoke with 10 to find out exactly how. Here, their 13 tips for getting paid.
“The hiring process is stressful on both ends. Employers spend hours screening resumes, conducting interviews, and selecting whom to hire. By the time you’re discussing pay, the employer is already extremely invested in you—meaning you have some bargaining power.” -Alexander Lowry, executive director of Gordon College's financial analysis master's program and CEO adviser
2. Understand that most employers expect you to negotiate.
" Many employers intentionally leave wiggle room in the salary they are offering, anticipating that you'll negotiate. Failing to do so so that extra money on the table. So ask (do not demand). If the answer is no, you can still gracefully accept. " -Alexander Lowry
“Go in with an understanding of what an acceptable salary range for the position (and the company) is. This will put you in a better position to negotiate when you get asked for your desired salary. Take an inventory of your skills, and compare them to what the employer is looking for; if they want someone with an MBA and you have one, use that to your advantage. Also, look for skills you possess that are not listed in the job requisition. -LaKiesha Tomlin, executive career consultant and Thriving Ambition, Inc.
“Negotiations involve some back-and-forth—not simple a yes or no. So feel free to ask for more than you want. This will leave you with some wiggle room to ‘concede’ to what you actually want.” -Alexander Lowry
"Giving a desirable salary range-a spread of about $ 10,000-can leave you room to haggle without sacrificing what you really want. Just make sure you are the right person. " -Rhian Sharp, CEO of Sharp Medical Recruiting
5. Back to top Your question about the value of you is.
"The best way to get clear about your value is in real life. The more actual numbers you can use to make your argument. I find it very important when someone can concretely articulate how they will translate their skills. If you can give examples of how you are going to help take the company to the next level, that will surely excite your employer. " -Katia Ameri, CEO of Mirra
" I'm always impressed when people show the value they have offered (if negotiating for a raise) or can offer. Many people come in an emphasize that they need more money without actually demonstrating their value outpaces the salary we're currently offering them. " -Deborah Sweeney, lawyer, entrepreneur, and business owner
6 . But do not blow through all your backup all at once.
"The stress of negotiation can get your adrenaline going, and in that excitement, you may be tempted to speed through your entire list of accomplishments. Resist this urge. You don’t want to lay all your cards on the table from the start. Instead, tie your initial request to two or three wins, and hold the rest in reserve. This way, when you're reviewing counter-proposals you still have strong examples of your contributions to use in support of your goals.” -Devon Smiley, negotiation consultant
"When I look for people to bring on the same team, I care much more about that person's potential future value than I do about their history. If I were you, I would not even mention what you were doing at your previous job. In reality, it should not matter. The more important question is: "82 —Katia Ameri
" Do not assume that what you made at your last job has some kind of magic influence over what you'll make at your next one. Everyone is different with different budgets and needs. " -Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr
“Don’t assume that you are guaranteed a raise based on your tenure. Tenure doesn't mean much when it comes to someone deserving a raise.” -Gene Caballero, cofounder of GreenPal
8. Use clear, precise language.
"Avoid wishy-washing language; clarity and precision are your friends when asking for a salary increase. Instead of saying, 'I'd like ...' or 'I'm looking for,' say, 'I'm requesting ...' It's clearer, and it shows you're less likely to budge. On a similar note, do not preface your ask with an apology or excuse, like, 'Sorry to bother you ...' or 'I know the budgets are tight right now, but ...' Instead, frame it through the lens of achievement: 'Based on my successful track record in this role ...' is much more compelling. " -Devon Smiley
9. Remember, salary is not the only thing on the table.
"Realize that salary is not the only negotiable item; tuition reimbursement, work schedule, relocation reimbursement, and initial job assignment are examples of 92 other things you can discuss, too. Consider what matters most for you, your needs, and your career, and negotiate those issues. Before you go in, have a clear understanding of what you prioritize most, so you can know what you are and are not willing to concede on.” -Alexander Lowry
" Consider your total compensation number-salary, plus the value of other benefits. You'll need to assign a value to each benefit to get an accurate number. For example, if you currently have two weeks of vacation and make $ 52,000 per year, your weekly salary is $ 1,000 and your vacation time is worth $ 2,000. Do this exercise for each of your benefits. If your base salary is $ 52,000 and your benefits, the package is valued at $ 10,000, you can use $ 62,000 as your starting point for negotiating your salary. Just be sure to answer the question by saying, 'My total compensation is $ 62,000,' so you're not being misleading. " -Ren Burgett, career coach
10. Be firm but realistic.
"Be firm on what your salary requirements are, but be sure to have reasons. Take into consideration your experience. " -Tanya Silver, human resources manager at Becker Logistics
" Be upfront about your salary expectations. And be sure to have a mental list of areas where you're flexible, so if necessary, you can 'give' without losing ground on what really matters to you. " -Carisa Miklusak
11 . Ask for a written offer and take yourself 24 hours to look it over before committing.
"Always ask for a written offer of your salary and benefits package, and then take 24 hours to get your thoughts together. Most companies will send you a copy via email and then a formal offer by email. When someone offers you a position, you can say something like, 'Thank you for the offer, I'm excited about the next steps. 'Then can I expect to see a written offer letter?' Then, 'Great! May I take 24 hours to read through it? 'You want to sound excited, but not committed. If for any reason they inquire why you need 24 hours, respond by telling them you want to take time to process the offer and read through the benefits to see if you have any questions. " -Ren Burgett
12. Do not be afraid to ask for "too much" -or to walk away if you do not get what you want.
"Don't be afraid to ask for what you really want. People tend to be afraid of asking for 'too much' and scaring off a potential employer. But in this case, if you do not scare them off, that might be a good thing; just imagine how you'd feel working for one or two years. On the similar note, do not be afraid to walk away. But also in terms of job responsibility, potential upward mobility, and benefits-walk away. It's not right for you. " -LaKiesha Tomlin
13. / I1'~"I'm incredibly impressed when someone's reaction to hearing 'no' is not just to walk away or to sulk, but instead to to take the move. 'I understand that an increase of $ 5,000 is not possible, but what can the company offer?' Or 'What can I do in the next six months to achieve a pay raise?' "
“I'm incredibly impressed when someone's reaction to hearing ‘no’ isn't just to walk away or to sulk, but instead to take that response as an opportunity to keep the discussion moving forward. ‘I understand that an increase of $5,000 isn't possible, but what can the company offer?’ or ‘What skills can I develop in the next six months to achieve a pay raise?’ Just because you can’t get the money now doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself up to get it later.” -Devon Smiley