Let’s face it. We all want to get paid the highest amount possible for doing our jobs and salary negotiation is an uncomfortable experience. The jobs we do help our companies make a lot of money and without employees many of the great products wouldn’t come to market. How many of you feel like you’re adequately paid for the value you provide to your company? I didn’t think so. How then can you earn more money for doing what you’re doing?
There are a number of methods out there to enhancing your knowledge including:
* Using a salary calculator (typically not accurate)
* Buying a salary range report (can be expensive and inaccurate)
* Knowing peer salaries (we like this method)
* Looking at a relevant salary survey (employees rarely get access)
Let’s be clear. Most employers don’t like you using ANY techniques to define how much you should earn. Why? Because it increases your chances of getting a higher salary than they want you to have. Their business is to get the most out of you for the least amount of money.
At SpringRaise, our goal is for you to get paid what you’re worth in the market for people doing your job, with your background and special talents. If you care about your compensation, then this salary negotiation approach will change your career.
Think of Salary Negotiation as a Process
When coming up on a career event (raise, promotion, new job, etc.), prepare for it like you would any event or meeting. You wouldn’t go into a big meeting with a client or partner unprepared, would you? Do the same for yourself! It’s time for you to get paid first. Our Springraise Salary Negotiation guide, SpringRaise Your Salary, takes you step-by-step through the process. It details the information you need to WIN your negotiation. It provides real-world case studies of how these techniques have led to double-digit, even TRIPLE-digit compensation increases! You’ve got to check it out.
Get Over Your Fear
Many people have stated their paralyzing fear of trying to negotiate salary with new employers or their current boss. Getting over that fear is ESSENTIAL in successfully negotiating. You can do it, and SpringRaise is here to help you.
Set a Goal
Every time you declare that you want something, you tend to get it, don’t you? That’s the power of setting goals. When you set it, you get it. The same is true in salary negotiation. Set that goal and prepare relentlessly to achieve it. See yourself winning in that salary negotiation and you increase your chances of making it happen. If you visualize what you want and know what’s reasonable to expect (your CompareMe report can help with both), you will never be disappointed with the result.
Know Where You Stand
It’s your job to understand your performance level. High performers get the highest raises. You know what the lower performers get. As a result, you have to take some really hard internal looks. But when you get that right, then you end up understanding whether your salary goal is realistic.
Know Others’ Salary
It makes sense to know peer salaries in your position. Feel free to ask! It may be taboo at some companies, but that’s because the employers don’t want you to drive up their costs. Recent federal legislation has reiterated that employees should not be retaliated against for discussing salary with each other. Time for you to
even the playing field. Salary comparison is a great technique that goes under
utilized because people are afraid of consequences. SpringRaise can help you there. Have no fear! Get the information you need.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
Who’s at the other side of the table? What does that person want or need? How is his or her success measured? Can you make their company or that person more successful just by being there (or have you already)? Knowing these answers will give you leverage in your negotiation and make you more valuable to the decision-maker. That translates into dollars.
Communicate Your Justification
Preferably this is done in person or on a live call, but often it’s smart to write a salary negotiation letter (aka salary increase letter, pay raise letter, or salary negotiation email). Therein you can justify your salary request clearly and make it so clear that they have almost no reason to refuse.
Sometimes you prepare so well and set your goal that you achieve it based on the first offer you get. Fantastic! Congratulations! But it’s not over. It pays to negotiate. Assume you’re getting the lowest offer they can give. Push the envelope, but softly. If you want the job, raise, or promotion, that’s the goal. Never hurts to push a bit on the salary if done well.
It’s ALSO my duty to share with you consequences of NOT negotiating salary. A joint study by George Mason University and Temple University surveyed employees across many jobs and industries. What they found may surprise you. People who chose to negotiate (rather than accepting the company’s first offer) got an average of $5,000 more in annual pay. And that increased starting salary builds on itself. Let’s give an example. Two people start a job at the same time, both getting offers of $50,000. One accepts the $50,000, and the other negotiates for an extra $5,000, bringing her salary up to $55,000. Now, if they both perform equally well and thus receive the same percentage raises throughout their careers, the one who negotiated the higher starting salary earns $600,000 more over a 40-year career.
That’s right: $600,000. You must negotiate.
Accept or Decline Gracefully
You don’t always accept offers–in fact, you can only accept one at a time, right? When you have multiple offers (and you will), you are indirectly expanding your network when interviewing. Don’t burn bridges. If you’re not taking a job, decline gracefully. Send a letter or email in addition to doing so over the phone or in person. Consider inviting the person to be a LinkedIn contact. If you accept, then all the above still pertains, but now you get to wow people in your new position. Here’s an example of a decline letter that I wrote. After reading, the employer (IBM) said I had a six month open door to come back and not have to go through the interview process. Now THAT’s building bridges.
Utilizing these salary negotiation techniques will get you well on your way to achieving your goals. Get yourself paid for the work you do. You’re worth every penny!
Get FREE salary negotiation letters to learn ways to communicate to management why you should be paid more whether in a new job, promotion, or raise situation.