Not many people like negotiating, therefore it should come as no surprise that only 37% of people negotiate their salaries.
The art of negotiation isn’t taught as a life skill and takes some practice, which is why very few people are actually good at it.
The positive news? Robert Half, a staffing firm, surveyed 2,8000 managers and found that 70% of them expect candidates to negotiate. Nothing you do is beyond expectation! Negotiating skills, in short, are communication skills.
Regardless of where you’re at in your career, the time to start negotiating is now.
Your first pitch is everything. It could be the difference between a 20% salary increase or a 3% pay bump. Any counteroffer you get is based on the initial offer you set.
First things first, is you need to know your value. The going rate of your position is going to be specific to your industry, geographic location and experience level. You can assume that the hiring manager has an idea of your market value, so with a little bit of research, you can come up with a number before the meeting.
A buyer is going to lowball, and a seller is going to bid high, so come in with hard figures so you maintain control of the conversation.
Don’t set a range
Those hard figures we were talking about… they need to be specific. Down to the dollar specific. You don’t want to make somewhere between $75,000 – $85,000- rather, say $84,500 instead. Want to make something in the 6-figure range? Say that you want $114,575.
People habitually use round numbers, but research has shown that being specific is the way to go. Specific numbers imply that more research has been done and reflect the true value of your worth. You’re more likely to get your first offer this way.
Build your case
You don’t have a case if you can’t explain why you deserve more than the initial offer. Beyond your research, you should jot some examples that highlight your strengths and how you’ll contribute to the company’s bottom line. If you have any additional certifications, additional degrees or qualifications that go beyond the job posting’s listed requirements- THIS is the time to bring them up.
Complete honesty is also imperative. There’s no better way to lose a job than lying about your previous experience or your past salaries.
Finish and get it in writing
Most managers don’t love negotiating either. Always keep the tone positive and know when it’s time to accept the offer given. Good employers aren’t going to withdraw an offer due to negotiation, but make sure not to press it if they’re set on the offer.
Once you are settled on a compensation package, ask for documentation. Most companies have this as a part of their employment contract, so when you receive it make sure it includes any special arrangements such as a signing bonus or relocation package.
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