When you are negotiating a salary, it is imperative to gather information prior to your meeting(s). Plan your approach, communicate clearly and concisely, and make smart decisions.
In order to accurately assess your bargaining position, you need to understand your strengths, accomplishments, and resources. You must also be able to respond to the needs of the company and know your competition.
Remember that knowledge is power, and the information you gather will give you bargaining strength.
THE SALARY NEGOTIATOR’S BIGGEST MISTAKE: Discussing money before you have sold yourself. If the company is not yet sold on you and your skills, you are not in a positive negotiating position to discuss compensation.
Here are some important factors to help you negotiate a salary:
Know the industry:
- Understand the status of the economy and how it affects the industry in which you are competing.
- Review and determine the unemployment rate and the employment outlook.
- Learn what the demand is in the industry.
Know the company:
- Is the company profitable or struggling?
- What is the company’s position in the business cycle (startup, developing, constant, turnaround)?
Know your bargaining power:
- Are other similar positions available?
- Your technical expertise and unique selling features.
- Your resources (financial and networking contacts).
- The calibre of your competition and the availability of other candidates.
Know the hiring manager:
- How urgent is the company’s need to fill the position?
- Understand the decision-making influences and hiring budget.
Negotiation is composed of two steps: planning (research and strategy) and communication.
In the planning stage, gather as much information as you can and target your skills to what the company values and needs. In the communication stage, use your enthusiasm as a major negotiating technique. When you are pumped with energy, it is impossible for the employer to be disinterested.
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