I hope you read Part 1…You need to know your value proposition, research, know what you value and have a good understanding of the organization and its needs. Now…
You have an actual offer. Now what? How can you negotiate for the best possible deal?
Instead of saying “OK” to an offer, it may be beneficial to pause and say “HMMM.” According to Jack Chapman, the well-known career consultant, telecoach, and author of Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute, this single technique enables more people to negotiate a better salary than any other. In other words, don’t jump at the first offer. This single technique along with the following information will assist you in obtaining the most favorable compensation package.
It is very important to thank them for the offer and indicate that you are looking forward to getting it in writing so you can review it carefully. It’s ALWAYS important to negotiate. You don’t want to leave money “on the table,” so to speak. I can tell you stories of two people, equally qualified, from the same school, similar experiences, who wound up with the same job but unequal salaries because one failed to ask if it was negotiable.
It’s also a good idea in many industries to ask if there is a signing bonus! This is another example of an opportunity to leave money on the table!
What are some behaviors you’ll want to incorporate into the negotiation?
While you don’t want to jump at the offer, you do want to indicate that you are excited about the job and remind the organization of why they chose you. This is not the time to remind the organization about the tuition you need to pay for your son in college or for your penchant for designer clothing! Focus negotiations on your value. It’s a good idea to remind the decision makers of everything you bring to the table.
Keep it positive and be flexible and a team player throughout the process. Remember – you want to work with these people!
What do you want to consider regarding the offer?
Again, be prepared! What’s your “bottom” number? Is there a salary you MUST earn, no matter what? Decide if there is, and recognize that you may lose the offer if it doesn’t work out. Be ready to explain why you believe you are asking for a specific salary.
Evaluate a company’s entire benefit plan.
Sometimes, the hiring manager will not be able to negotiate the salary up. Think outside of the box and be creative in your negotiating. Look at the entire package. Think about negotiating using:
- Vacation time, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement
- Overtime, days off, relocation expenses, stock options
- Company car, expense accounts, bonuses, etc.
- Benefits (health, retirement, disability, stock options, education assistance)
- Relocation expenses, reimbursement for commuting costs
What every negotiator needs to remember:
- Never burn bridges – communicate in an open and thoughtful manner.
- If you aren’t prepared to walk away, don’t offer ultimatums.
- Look for the common points – use them to negotiate.
It’s a good idea to practice your techniques (I’m happy to help!) and prepare as you would for an interview. With the right attitude and preparation, you will be set to earn what you are worth, even in a down economy!
photo by ingorr