Whether you’re in a job interview or a one-on-one interview with your supervisor to discuss your quarterly performance, negotiating salaries is a very sensitive topic that requires some finessing. Here are four tips on how to negotiate for higher salaries or better benefits.
Determine Your Value
Figure out how much you’re bringing into the company you’re working for. For example, if you are the only person in a 20-man team who is familiar with the main tech stack that your company’s website is running on, then you should leverage that during a negotiation. Another example is if you are consistently the top salesperson in the company. These are all things that connote your professional value in your current employment.
Aim High Enough
You want to aim high when you negotiate your salary, but aiming too high can start off the negotiation on very shaky legs. Too high of an offer can make you seem arrogant or delusional. Research what other professionals with similar skill sets or responsibilities are making and then base your initial ask on that.
Give a Range, Not a Fixed Number
A flat number makes it difficult for either you or your employer to find the right amount that satisfies both parties. A range, on the other hand, gives your employer options as to how to proceed with the negotiation. To get an idea of what numbers you should consider when coming up with a range, use platforms, like Glassdoor or Payscale, to research what numbers are common in the industry.
Avoid Being Emotional
It’s common for people who are inexperienced in negotiating to approach it with the same tenacity or energy as they would a fight or confrontation. Negotiating, however, is simply convincing the other party that what you’re asking is fair. Instead of being emotional, think of the interaction as a sales pitch. Support your demands with facts that you can back up. Cite specifics, such as your major accomplishments in the last quarter or year.
A successful negotiation requires thorough planning, meticulous research, and timing. You’ll want to time your ask for a pay bump in a time when the company is in a favorable financial position. Make it easy for them to see that it’s the smart and fair move by supporting your ask with documents and numbers.