The Art of Negotiating
Before you can seek a salary increase, you must get a job. To do this, you need to put together a resume that makes employers want to meet with you. Employers and hiring managers first reject resumes of applicants whose experience does not match the required experience. Write a resume that highlights your accomplishments and your ability to meet the challenges. Start it with a strong preamble, stating what job you are applying for, then describe your abilities, achievements and work experience. Once you’ve sent your resume, call the company three days later to set up an interview.
If you are strongly interested in applying for a particular position, think of some original way to get an interview. For example, write a cover letter describing what a great person you are, print it out in poster format and send it to the employer. Or send him an old shoe with a note that says, “You already have one foot in it!” Ingenuity and humor can be invaluable to you.
“I’ve been saying for years that there’s no way to make money faster than skillful salary negotiation.”
How to behave properly in a job interview
At a job interview, you may have to go to great lengths to impress someone who has met more than one hundred applicants before you. Prepare answers to the most likely questions in advance. Think about what information not listed in your resume, that might interest the interviewer. For example, you may be asked about your desired salary, the reason for leaving the previous job, life principles, strengths and weaknesses of your personality. The interviewer needs to find out whether you are capable of solving work problems or managing people, and whether you fit in with the corporate culture.
“There’s not a person in the world who can’t walk into his boss’s office and negotiate a $40 a month raise.”
Describe your professional accomplishments and what you hope to accomplish in your new position. Show reference letters confirming your qualifications. Keep in mind that the interviewer will assess not only your words, but also your facial expressions, gestures, appearance and charisma. If you have any special talents, be sure to talk about them. If the interlocutor offers to ask him questions, ask him about the company’s competitors, its prospects and the lines of business it plans to pursue. Discuss with him how and within what time frame a decision will be made about the right candidate. After the interview, send a handwritten thank-you letter with your contact information by regular mail.
“It only takes a little effort to negotiate not only a good salary, but an overall compensation package.”
A delicate question
At a job interview, don’t start talking about money until you’re sure the interviewer is interested in you. When talking about salary, negotiate a complete package that includes not only salary, but also bonuses, bonuses, travel allowances, compensation, insurance deductions, training fees, relocation allowance and retirement benefits. Never give out your salary at your former job. If you are asked for this information, make sure you include your full salary package. When asking for your salary, ask for more than you expect to receive, but make it clear that you are willing to meet the employer’s requirements. If the salary you are offered is too low, send a letter after the interview with a counter-offer or a request for a new meeting. Talking to a person face-to-face and observing their facial expressions and gestures will give you a much better understanding of their intentions. Also, when you meet in person, you can seal the final agreement with a handshake.
Gather information about the salaries of people in similar positions in the same industry. When making salary decisions, employers rely on industry salary standards, your previous salary, and the salaries of people in equivalent positions in the company. Once your salary is decided, employers are much more concerned about whether you can do the job. Find out if the company provides incentives for new employees. It’s also a good idea to find out if there is an opportunity to review your salary after three months of employment. If you are a top manager, discuss the benefits in the event of termination.
How to get the agreement of the interlocutor
There are techniques for ending negotiations in your favor and getting the other party to agree to your demands as quickly as possible. One of these is holding a pause. When the employer asks a question about the desired salary, tell him and pause. Allow the interlocutor to think about what he heard and to feel the particular importance of the moment. During the negotiation, remain calm. Act as if you are absolutely sure that the employer will eventually accept your terms. Once he decides the company needs you, make another attempt to insist on your terms. At this point the employer is already much more willing to meet you halfway. Often insisting on small concessions is very effective.
How to get an advantage in negotiations
People who negotiate like chess players use tactical tricks to gain an advantage. Here are some of the tricks that will help you strengthen your bargaining position.
Ask for more than you expect to get. This move expands your bargaining power, increases your value in the eyes of your interlocutor, and increases your chances of getting a good offer. By stating the minimum amount you are willing to work for, you will have no way of backing out.
Always reject the first offer (or the first counteroffer). React to the first offer with a facial expression or gesture – for example, take a deep breath or express surprise with a look. This will have a powerful effect.
Keep it friendly. Be calm, friendly and attentive to the person you are talking to. If your boss says he can’t increase the budget, agree with him, showing that you understand his position. Then offer him a way to increase his productivity, and with it his salary.
Raise the stakes. When you hear a salary offer, say, “This amount is obviously not enough.” The interlocutor will be forced to make the next move. At the right moment, take a pause and wait for a response. As a rule, the one who first breaks the silence, the first to make concessions. Discuss the specific amount, not the percentages. A $5,000 raise is weighty whether the salary in question is $1,000,000 or $25,000.
“You can do it!” Managers have a habit of saying that the final salary decision is made at a higher level. Don’t fall for this trick that weakens your position. To do this, check with the interviewer from the beginning to see if he or she has the authority to make the salary decision. Then ask him if he’s interested in your offer, and if so, if he can’t make a decision right now. Play on his ego. Try to ask him if his superiors consider his recommendation. If he is not authorized to make the decision, find out which of his supervisors has that authority.
Don’t choose to compromise. If you get a good first offer, it means the employer has already considered your inflated requirements.
Offer to review the budget or company policies. Employees hear time and again that employers can’t give raises or reimbursements because it’s out of budget or against company policy. In that case, ask when the new budget will be approved so you can revisit the conversation later. Or find out who has the authority to make changes in company policy and whether they are worth approaching.
Stand up for your interests. A basic negotiation technique is finding compromises. By agreeing to more work without a corresponding increase in salary, you knock down your price as a specialist.
Learn to resist collective pressure. “Good Investigator – Bad Investigator” is an old trick: One side of the negotiation is represented by two people – a friendly and an aggressive one. Tell them that you know this tactic very well, and address both parties simultaneously, showing that you understand the unity of their position.
A few other cautions and tips:
Agreeing to a concession can be used against you. If you agree to a lower wage than the amount you originally agreed to, don’t agree to lower it again. The person you’re talking to will probably want more concessions from you.
Don’t be frank. People who aren’t trained in the rules of negotiation talk more than they need to, risking revealing all their cards and losing their trump cards.
Be wary of showing weakness. Once you agree to small concessions, an experienced negotiator will take advantage of them, and you’ll have to concede again and again.
Avoid deadlocks. A negotiating stalemate can be described in three different terms. “Stalemate” is a situation where the conversation has exhausted itself. To get out of it, move on to discuss other topics, and later return to the issue that is not being resolved in any way. “Stalling in place” – a situation where the conversation continues, but leads nowhere. Involve other people in the conversation, change the place of conversation, discuss common interests, or change the subject. “Deadlock” is a rare case where the parties are completely silenced. The only way out is to bring in a third party to resolve the conflict situation.
Make small concessions only in exchange for larger ones. Employers, wishing to show their power over subordinates, often assign them additional duties. To stop such attempts, ask the boss for a counter favor. The most important thing is to do it at once.
The results of the negotiations should suit both sides. The goal of any negotiation is to come out of it a winner. If the people with whom you negotiate, as a result of getting what they sought, your position is not weakened by this. Don’t be stubborn about small things and don’t try to get everything. Be mindful of your interests and don’t get greedy.
To solidify your position when negotiating a raise, build a reputation as an indispensable employee. To do this, show your employer how you can work and save the company money. Make sure your bosses notice your talent and valuable professional experience. Let them know that you are willing to forgo a pay raise in favor of a percentage of the profits in your line of work. By doing so, you’ll make it clear that a pay raise is not an end in itself for you, that you’re confident and committed. When preparing for negotiations, always think through your back-up options. Rely on the following arguments to help speed up the decision-making process.
“Time is money.” If a department is short of employees, or a position has been vacant for a long time, the employer has to put a lot of effort into finding candidates. Your argument is the speed with which you can get to work, with the other side of the scale being the time to find another candidate. The more time the company spends negotiating with you, the more the employer will want to recoup that cost by hiring you. Take advantage of this advantage and, before declaring your acceptance, try to resolve any pending issues.
“Knowledge is power.” Find out how long the position has been vacant, why the company decided to hire a new employee, what happened to the previous one, and how many applicants the employer has already interviewed. Ask, in particular, what bonuses the previous employee had. Even if you don’t get an answer, the response to your question will give you valuable information to think about.
“The conversation is over.” The most powerful argument in a negotiation is the ability to reject the offer you receive. When the employer realizes that you have other employment options (or he is satisfied with the way you work), he will be forced to raise your salary so as not to lose you.