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How to Negotiate and Get the Salary You Deserve

A survey conducted by Personal Capital Advisors Corporation states that “23% of men and 31% of women don’t negotiate for a higher salary because it’s uncomfortable, but for the brave ones who work up the courage to ask for a raise, or higher starting salary, 75% of them receive one.”

That was part of the message I shared at an Executive Leadership Support Forum recently, telling attendees how important it is to know their value and having the courage to speak up when negotiating. I told them if they didn’t have a strong belief that they are worth the salary (and compensation package) they are asking for, their potential employer won’t believe it either. I even shared a few of my own negotiating stories, when I had the courage to ask for what I wanted, and getting it.

Anyone who is afraid of negotiating should know that the cost of asking is most times lower than the cost of not asking. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. The worst that can happen is for one party to say “No!”

Consider the following negotiation case study:

A client reached out to me in mid January for career transition coaching. He was stagnated in his current role, was looking for an opportunity to grow, and needed help in navigating the job search process. His request was two-fold. In addition to wanting a new job, he was facing a lot of trepidation and guilt. A couple of years earlier he had left his current employer, and when the move didn’t work out, they warmly took him back.

After we began working together, he was contacted by a senior executive through LinkedIn. He went for what he thought was an informal meeting, but it ended up being an interview. He was offered the job almost immediately. When we had the next coaching session, he gave me an update on the interview, including the fact he spilled the beans on his current salary ($70,000). “Yikes!” I thought. Isn’t there a popular belief that “whoever mentions money first, loses”?

I asked him what salary he was thinking of asking for, and he said $85,000, plus an extra week’s vacation. It was time to give him an assignment. I asked him to create a T-Chart and write down his current package with the proposed one; taking into consideration potential gains and losses. Based on the comparison, he decided that, all other things being equal, he would ask for $90,000, plus the extra week’s vacation.

He presented his proposal and was asked to consider two options: he could go with a ‘Salary’ Model that offers a base of $90,000 plus a 15% bonus, or he could accept a ‘Percentage of Billings’ Model with quarterly reconciliations. By the time he and his accountant had done the math, they agreed that the Percentage of Billings model was a very good option, allowing him to determine how much he would work and what he would be paid. Based on this model, he stands to earn $164,500 in his first year; more than double his current salary, and in line with his financial goal.

He and I discussed his rationale for choosing this model and he told me it was twofold: First, it would demonstrate to his new boss that he is eager, willing to take risks; entrepreneurial, and want to work hard and benefit from the fruits of his labour.  Second, on the company’s side, he believes it would reduce the risk of them getting an employee who is content to merely draw a salary and do the baseline level of work.

We discussed the risks involved, but he was not overly concerned. “It’s risky and entrepreneurial, he said, “but I am confident I can do it.” According to him, it will allow him to “eat what he kills”.

At the same time the client was mulling over the offer, he was also being courted by another company. After assessing both offers, he opted for the first one.

As enticing as this client’s negotiation story is, it does and would not work for everyone. Some people are constrained by the type and size of a company; the individual’s ability to negotiate their worth, or they could be negotiating with an employer who has a firm number from which they won’t budge.

Regardless of your situation, the follow tips should help in your next negotiation story:

  • Know your value
  • Make sure you have done your research and have data to support your position
  • Don’t get too hung up on the money aspect. There are other things to consider as part of the compensation package
  • Develop a list of talking points in preparation for the negotiation story
  • Enter the conversation with a specific number. Don’t be caught off guard
  • Stay Positive

The note below is from the client referenced above:

“I hired Daisy while I was considering a career shift to another position.  Through an unexpected turn of events, I ended having two opportunities open up, and had to choose between two very good offers.  Working with Daisy, I was able to really crystallize my core values and objectives, and make a decision confidently.  Daisy also helped me in affirming my value so that I could assertively – and successfully – negotiate a compensation model I’m very happy with.  Sensible, down-to-earth, and savvy, Daisy “gets it”.  Considering how quickly career decisions add up professionally, financially, and emotionally, for me it was a no-brainer to invest in good advice.”

 

About 

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go

About Daisy

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go