6 Ways to Swing That Salary Negotiation Your Way
You wouldn’t work for free, but that doesn’t mean that you enjoy asking for more money. When it comes to negotiating a pay rise, almost all of us feel uncomfortable and reluctant to do it. Not doing so can cost you seriously, though – Business Insider’s infographic demonstrates that a worker who doesn’t negotiate their starting salary can lose up to $1M over their working life. It’s not just new graduates who need to learn negotiation skills, though: unless you own your own company, you can benefit from these tips that can make your pay rise negotiations go smoothly.
1. Get your timing right
Don’t ask for a jump in salary right after your company has posted a loss, for example. But even if conditions seem favourable, don’t catch your boss unawares. Schedule a time to talk, and make it clear that you’ll be coming to the conversation intending to discuss remuneration and your future at the company. That will give both you and your boss time to prepare and make the conversation go all the more smoothly.
2. Open with a number
You may want to let the other person in the negotiation suggest a number first and then negotiate up from there, but in fact whoever broaches a figure first is in a more powerful position. By putting a (high) number out there, you ‘anchor’ the negotiation so that it can’t pull too far away from where you want to be.
3. Make the number precise
Researchers from Columbia Business School have found that a precise number gives you a more powerful anchor. Asking for $107,000 sends a message that you’ve done your research and have statistics to back up your request, as compared to $100,000, which comes across as vague and unfocused.
4. Think of the conversation as a competition, not a mediation
It can be tempting to approach salary talks as a problem which has a mutually pleasing solution. That mindset might see you accepting an offer that’s lower than you deserve just because you want to avoid feeling bad. Using a competitive strategy is likely to work better and see you leaving the table with more money in your pocket.
5. Back up your figures with facts
Talk to people in similar roles about their own salaries (your organisation may require you to keep your salary confidential, in which case you will need to be careful about only talking to people outside of your company and maintaining your own confidentiality). Look at online salary trackers. Record and highlight instances where you have performed above and beyond your technical job description and draw comparisons between those achievements and higher-salaried employees. If you have any supporting documentation or recommendations, bring those along. The more work you’ve done, the more smoothly the conversation will go and the more empowered you’ll feel during the discussion.
6. Emphasise your future potential
While our past achievements might seem like the concrete foundation onto which we are building our expectations, employers aren’t as interested in what you’ve already done. From their perspective, you’ve been paid for that already. The thing that will compel them to pay you more in the future is what you will achieve. Bring some goals to the table and share your vision with your employer to make them see that they simply can’t afford to lose you!
What do you think?
Do you loathe salary chats or look forward to the challenge? Share your best tips with us in the comments!
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Business Insider, Executive Style, The Guardian, Forbes