Whether you are starting a new job or expecting a promotion at your current one, salary negotiation should always be part of the process. Many people skip over negotiation and miss out on the compensation they deserve. By following these five rules, you can handle the negotiation process like a pro during your next interview or salary review.
5 Rules for Handling Salary Negotiation Like a Pro
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Many people make the mistake of failing to plan before going into an interview. However, the preparation process is undoubtedly critical. Negotiation is a stressful event and can cause your body to produce cortisol, making it difficult to think clearly on the spot. By planning ahead, you can learn about the other side as much as possible and go into the negotiation with confidence.
2. Be Curious
If you want to negotiate like a pro, you'll have to gather as much information as you can on the person(s) with whom you will be negotiating. While it is impossible to know everything there is about a person, it is helpful to know the other party's background, goals, likes, and dislikes.
Find out what is valuable to them and how you can solve their problems, and then convey this information during the conversation. Sometimes, you won't be able to find this information beforehand. You can overcome this by getting the other party to talk as much as possible. The more they speak, the more you can learn about them, and then use that information to your advantage.
3. Understand Your Options
When you have a solid understanding of your options, you can go into a negotiation feeling more relaxed. You'll know what you can do if you don't come to an acceptable deal. This process is known as your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). Before going in, plan out as many suitable numbers that you can think of, and order them from most to least preferable.
As you ask questions and gather information during the conversation, you can offer different price points that suit the employer's needs and budget. You can also determine the highest number you are willing to accept, as well as your bottom line. Settling on the numbers in advance makes it easier to say no if you cannot come to a good deal.
4. Research Other Sources
Instead of coming up with a number on your own, you can research similar salaries in the industry to get a good idea of what people are getting paid. You can also research respected third-party resources such as magazines or journals and cite them to back up your claims if an employer tries to counter you.
5. Ask Open-Ended Questions
When an employer makes you an offer, you can ask a few open-ended questions to ensure you get the best deal and to protect yourself in the future. For example, you can ask whether the salary is open to negotiation, and how it was calculated. You can also ask if anything besides the base salary is negotiable.
If the answer is no, you can ask whether there are any potential opportunities that can increase your earnings. It's also a good idea to ask how future salary raises are determined. Finally, always ask to get any verbal promises in writing.
By following these rules, you'll have a great chance of negotiating a fair salary. If you have never negotiated a salary before and need help preparing for one in the engineering, infrastructure, construction, or energy sectors, contact Rob Law Max today to see how we can help support your career.