The right and wrong way to negotiate salary
Roughly 20 percent of Americans who responded to a recent survey about job negotiations said they never negotiate salary during the process of job interviews. This might be due to the bad economy, but many people are apprehensive when discussing money and getting a job.
Fortunately, there’s a right way and wrong way. It’s important to use the right words and avoid phrases which can hurt your opportunities.
Don’t use these phrases during your salary negotiation:
- “I will take the first offer.” This ends the negotiations before they ever start.
- “I need X to pay off my loans and bills.” First, don’t toss out the first number. But you shouldn’t bring personal issues into the negotiations. Your job isn’t about your personal loans and bills, it’s about the value you bring to the company.
- “Company X is offering me much more.” Whether you actually have another offer or not, you don’t want to put pressure on the employer.
- “That’s all you can do? “Don’t offend the employer. Yes, the salary offer might be too low, but word will get around that you aren’t very tactful.
- “No.” This word instantly closes the door, instead of leaving it open for more negotiations.
- “This is my last offer.” Don’t make a threat like this unless you are completely prepared to walk away.
- “I hate to ask…” Asking for more money is not easy, but this phrase does not come across as assertive.
- “Rumor has it that you offered John Doe X dollars.” Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and certainly don’t use gossip (even if it’s true) in your negotiations. If you do need to compare salaries, use a site like PayScale.
- “Maybe,” or “I think.” Negotiations need to be assertive, not passive. Words like this give up your control.
- “The least I’ll take is X.” Guess what? That’s what you’ll get.
- “Sorry.” Don’t apologize for your self-worth.
- “You might not think I’m worth…” Again, don’t apologize for your self-worth.
- “I’m worth a lot more.” But don’t come across as arrogant. Find a balance.
You do want to be polite. Demonstrate your competence and the value you bring to the job. Find someone you can practice with before the interview to gain confidence. You can negotiate and get the best offer from the employer.