How to negotiate salary: 7 salary negotiation tips

Are you overdue for a raise and not sure how to ask? Interviewing for a job and the pay is lower than you like? A few minutes of awkward conversation can dramatically raise your income. Here’s how to do it with these salary negotiation tips. 

Today’s job market is competitive and companies need good workers more than ever. There are employee shortages for many industries and that can put you in a good place to be able to negotiate salary. 

Is negotiating salary worth it? If you think about it, those 5 minutes can bring you several thousand dollars. Just a tiny bit of effort can make a world of difference. Here is how to increase your pay with these salary negotiating tips.

Tips that guarantee success when negotiating salary increase

What are the benefits of negotiating a salary increase? In addition to having a larger paycheck, there are also other benefits you should keep in mind. One key one is your retirement fund. As your pay increases, you can increase the contributions for your retirement fund. This gives you a great security blanket for the future. 

Extra reading: How Much is 6 Figures? Six-Figure Salaries and Jobs

Put yourself in the right mindset

When you are getting ready for salary negotiation, it is important to be in the right mindset. I’m talking about a classic glass half full versus half empty principle. In order to make the most out of the situation you’re in, it’s necessary to first make changes to your approach. The same thing can be said for most things in life, including business negotiations.

People are never afraid to haggle on the price of their new home or a car, but when it comes to asking for a promotion, they tend to accept the first deal that comes their way. Sadly, this is precisely the thing that separates the middle class from the upper echelon.

Wealthy people know all too well that you should always ask for more out of everything in life, and that settling too quickly is a cardinal sin. Even stepping inside the office, it’s absolutely vital to come in fully prepared, and aware of your worth. Asking for more money without validating your demands is a one-way ticket to doom, but more on that later on.

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Look at the bigger picture

While you might think that $3,000 increase in your yearly paycheck is a massive improvement, you have to wait a moment and take everything into consideration. Depending on who you need to talk to, and where you work, this conversation can go in 2 different ways:

Salary Negotiation at Larger Companies

If you work in a large corporation, chances are that you’ll be talking to an HR representative during your negotiations. They usually have a specific budget to work with, and it’s not their choice of whether or not they can step over it.

With that in mind, there’s still no reason why you should be afraid to ask for what you deserve. Furthermore, large corporations have huge payrolls. With $100,000+ of expenses a month, they won’t even feel the difference one salary raise makes.

This is especially true in this case, as the HR managers don’t give money out of their pockets, and are generally more inclined to accept your requests if you fall under the company plans.

Salary Negotiation at Smaller Companies

If you are a part of a smaller business, negotiations can get a bit tricky. However, you can still turn it to your advantage. In smaller businesses, you’ll probably be directly talking to the owner, and they tend to bit a be more strapped for cash, as it’s coming out of their pockets.

Still, it’s not easy to find a proven team member in a short time, and that can play right into your hands, as the job simply won’t wait. I’m not saying that you should blackmail your employer, but you should be well aware of your worth to the company.

Approach the situation in a friendly manner, and explain why getting a pay raise would be appropriate. If you make a good presentation, and your boss is reasonable, there shouldn’t be any major issues.

Do not wait and hope that employers will give you a raise on their own, ask for it

The reality is that in most cases you will not be financially rewarded for being a good person or hard worker. You have to be willing to clearly define your goals, fight hard to accomplish them, and reap the benefits. The same thing can be said for business as well.

Just because you are working long hours, your boss won’t be necessarily aware that you are going above and beyond what your tasks are. Perhaps, they will think that you need more time to perform your daily tasks. If this is the case, you will never get a raise.

How do you to point out your hard work? Let your bosses know that you are willing to put in the time and effort, and ask them about their expectations from you. Work your hardest to achieve these goals. Even exceed them. Then and only then talk about getting a raise. You’ll be in a much better place for salary negotiation. 

Let your resume speak for you

If your salary negotiation efforts become stalled, point to your previous results. For example, a 2% increase in revenue does not really do too much to prove your worth. However, take a moment to spin things around in your favor.

If your employer does not want to give you that $5,000 raise, present your work in terms which matter to them. All of a sudden, that 2% increase in revenue that you briefly mentioned turns into your biggest advantage.

By boosting your company’s revenue by 2%, you will bring them millions of dollars in profit. Compared to that, does an increase in salary of $5,000 stand out as much?

Do not tell a number immediately

Think of negotiating salary terms of a boxing match, where both opponents need to keep their best strike hidden until it’s precisely the time to use it. Most HR managers will insist to know your figure immediately, but try to delay that talk for a few moments, at least.

Defend your stance by saying you want to see whether or not you are a mutual fit first. If that turns out to be the case, mention that negotiations shouldn’t be much of an issue at all. By employing this tactic, you focus on your worth, instead of a number on a piece of paper.

If you run into some murky waters, and the HR manager or supervisor won’t budge, try to present your case by using something along the lines of:

I understand it’s a bit more than what you originally planned for. But considering that we appear to be the perfect fit, would you really want to go through the process of candidate selection for additional couple of months? This could delay your business even further.

At the end of the day, always have in mind that getting a few thousand dollars extra on your paycheck isn’t the whole story.

If they aren’t willing to negotiate when it comes to salary, look for other options, such as increasing the number of vacation days, increase flexible working hours, and introduce travel and personal growth opportunities into play as well.

Do whatever you can to get an inch of advantage.

The Importance of Networking

In today’s uncertain job market, networking is more important than ever. Relationships matter, even virtual ones, and it doesn’t hurt to reconnect with coworkers and colleagues from your past either. Some of my most important business connections, which stay relevant to this day were formed during my college years.

Even if you have the best resume in the world, at the end of the day, those are just words on a piece of paper. Having a person of trust who can vouch for you is still irreplaceable, and always will be. References can be valuable, and by having a large network, you can also learn about different opportunities that might be available. 

If possible, become friends with a human resources manager, and get inside tips on how things really work in your company. Nothing beats having them on your side.

Practice using the correct words for Salary Negotiation 

Using the right buzzwords and language when negotiating salary matters. Using the correct terminology can be crucial to success when it comes to negotiations. Here is a quick example.

  • The offer of $75,000 sounds interesting. It’s not exactly what I had in mind…
  • I am content with your offer of $75,000, but…

In the first sentence, you are clearly saying that the offer interests you and that it’s reasonable, but it leaves some room for negotiation, without sounding confrontational.

It sounds like you are prepared to make a deal, but that there needs to be a wiggle room left for improvement.

On the contrary, the other sentence is the polar opposite. You immediately revealed that you are happy with the proposed salary, but it makes it sound like you want to dig out some additional benefits, it makes you sound greedy.

These salary negotiation tips are effective, however it is important to know that there are times when none of this works. If that’s the case, you should not be too afraid to look elsewhere. Sometimes, you’ve reached the the maximum of what you can get from a company, and it still isn’t enough to reach your goals. This is why it’s important to keep networking, to keep your ears open, and to not be afraid to look at new opportunities that come your way. 

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1 thought on “How to negotiate salary: 7 salary negotiation tips”

  1. I relied on one main technique to go from 18k to mid six figures in my career. And that was fear. I did a great job to the point that my boss and his boss knew that the chance of replacing me with an equivalent talent was essentially zero. They feared the repercussions of losing the quality and quantity of results I produced if I left. I networked madly and that led to many offers from our competitors which I passed on to my boss as points of interest. I never threatened to leave. I just let them know I knew my true market worth. They always matched the offers within a year or two. I stayed there for over thirty years and never felt underpaid. I ran the company eventually, all because they were scared I might leave. It only takes learning to be extremely productive, networking and passing on every good offer you get to your bosses. Fear is extremely motivating to management. If you don’t have the ability to engender fear in the boss then it is likely you are not in the right job, find one where you can. Very good post!


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