Salary Negotiation Made Easy

It amazes us that “The Salary Game” is still very much alive. You would think in this day and age that such vital information would be made known in job posts. This would ensure everyone was clear on what was being offered and it would enable folks to manage their expectations. But no – it is still a poker game of sorts with each party trying to work it to their advantage.

Certainly one of the most dreaded questions asked in an interview is: “What salary are you making now?" The rule of thumb is to not be the first to mention a dollar figure. Instead, you could ask what the job normally pays for someone with similar qualifications. Companies already have a budget for the compensation package, but they will low ball if they can.

What if they push you, and say that it “varies” and again ask you your salary? This can certainly be tricky if your salary is above or below market value. If you are pushed to give a number and you were earning below your value, you can state that compensation was within a certain range. If your salary was significantly above market value you can ask the range that has been budgeted for that position and simply say you fall within that range. Answering a question with a question is also a good way to steer the conversation in the way you want it to go. For example you might ask: “How often are performance reviews done?” which would open the door for a possible increase in pay based on merit.

Should You Even Try and Negotiate Your Salary?

Many people are grateful to just be offered a new job and thus, are nervous about trying to negotiation their salary. To that end, we are often asked if salary negotiation is advisable in this economy. The simple answer is yes. If you’re concerned that an attempt to negotiate you job offer will offend the potential employer or make you look greedy, don’t fret. According to numerous polls, more than 80% of employers expect some form of negotiation for pay, benefits, perks, work schedules, etc. So if you don’t ask for it, you most likely won’t get it. Salary negotiation tactics are especially important when applying for sales positions. The hiring manager is typically testing your negotiation skills and your ability to ‘close a sale.’

So don’t get thrown when asked about your salary; instead, stay calm and be prepared for the question. Knowing your value in the marketplace can help you to negotiate your compensation in a win/win manner.