Negotiating your salary when you get a new job offer can be nerve-wracking. However, there are proven techniques that can help you effectively negotiate. And below are seven of these techniques that will go a long way toward improving your offer.
1. Find Out What You’re Worth
Before you can even begin to think about negotiating with an employer, you need to understand what your expertise is worth. The best way to do this is to do some online research of average salaries for roles like yours, taking the industry into account as well. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to present a better case to your potential employer. Otherwise, you could be taking a massive shot in the dark, asking for a salary that is unreasonable and very unlikely.
2. Build Rapport with Your Negotiator
Before you begin negotiating, it’s a good idea to start creating a personal rapport with your negotiator. You can begin doing this at the interview stage and continue while you’re waiting for an offer to be agreed upon. You could connect with them on platforms like LinkedIn and get to know more about them on the company’s meet the team page. All of this knowledge can help you to create a connection, talking about things they like or what motivates them. By creating a relationship beforehand, you’ll feel more comfortable negotiating, and you’ll be more likely to have an open conversation and get what you want.
3. Don’t Just Focus on Salary
Remember, a job offer is not just about the salary; you also need to take into account other benefits that come as part of the package. So, don’t just jump in with a high figure; consider what you should reasonably ask for while thinking about other benefits such as paid leave, health insurance, and flexible working opportunities. Ideally, you want to find out what terms are already on the table and prioritize the ones that matter most to you—remembering that salary isn’t everything when it comes to achieving complete job satisfaction.
4. Declare Your Demands at the Start
Try to avoid making the mistake of negotiating each term or benefit individually; otherwise, it can appear like you’re being demanding and constantly requesting more. By setting out all your terms right away, the negotiator can see what they’re up against. That said, it’s best to first start with your harder requests, such as salary and bonuses, which you’re unwilling to compromise on. Then, when you’ve come to an agreement on these, you can move towards softer negotiations such as vacation time or job title.
5. Make Your Case
You need to make it very clear to the employer how hiring you’ll make them better off. Otherwise, they’re unlikely to match your requests. To do this, you need to come armed with examples of your key achievements—during your time in school and/or from previous jobs. This way, you can demonstrate how you can add real value to the business. It’s better if you can cite facts and figures, which can help the employer to get a much clearer understanding of how you’ll benefit them—and thus why you’re worth the money and investment.
6. Don’t Exaggerate
You must be careful not to exaggerate your qualifications or past experience. Remember, part of the art of salary negotiation is building trust, and if the employer discovers you’re lying (and they probably will if you are), this is unlikely to secure you the package you want. So, always be honest and try to get the perfect balance between selling yourself and being realistic about what you want and deserve.
7. Don’t Give Them an Ultimatum
Last but not least, avoid giving the employer an ultimatum. You should accept the offer tentatively and then lay out what’s missing from the package and what you’d like. This will result in a calm and structured discussion until both parties are happy. On the other hand, if you throw out an all-or-nothing solution, the employer is unlikely to take to this kindly, and it could end up costing you the job. So, always stay professional and show gratitude for the offer, asking to discuss a few of the terms until you’re both happy.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of Job Description Library and StandOut CV, two leading UK careers advice websites. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
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