Is There A General Strategy For Salary Negotiation?
Yes there is. As we always say, “There is always a Strategy for everything!”.
Here are several that you need to bear in mind when facing that new Job Offer on the table.
1. You must try to get as much an uplift as possible.
The goal is to get as much of a salary increase as possible. After all, every job change is fraught with uncertainty and this risk factor should be mitigated with a premium, shouldn’t it?
The big question is knowing how much to ask. My suggestion is to do your research – ask the Headhunter, ask your friends in the industry, or even ask the hiring manager.
Know what the market is paying, and know your value to the organisation that is hiring you.
2. Negotiate individual components of your remuneration
Knowledge is power, as they say, and thanks to your smartest career move of purchasing and reading this article, you now know what components to negotiate over.
Try to move each individual parts upwards – ask for a healthy base salary to begin with.
Next, see if you can get more upside via the variable bonuses.
Then, try to nudge their incentive scheme upwards.
Of course, you need to know what is negotiable and what isn’t so you don’t behave too much like a thug at this point.
For instance, some companies have ‘salary bands’ and if you are at the top of that range, they may not be able to raise it (Pro-tip: Ask to be upgraded to the next band!). Or, the variable bonus may be limited to three months and cannot be altered. No amount of table banging could change that.
3. Be bold
I am a staunch believer of the ‘don’t ask, won’t know’ school of thought. Be bold (but not unreasonable) when asked for an expected salary. Push your luck a little but don’t be too pushy. A client of ours was coached by us to request a 40% increase in his salary plus a $50K sign-on bonus… and he got it!
4. Know your own value
Know where you stand in the market.
Are you clearly the only person in the industry who has the track record to resolve the company’s specific challenge (e.g. Increasing sales of MRI machines to hospitals in the region)?
If you are, then you know that your bargaining power is strong.
5. Excel during the interview
This is something I always tell my candidates. If you blow the interviewers away with your master-class performance during the interview sessions, chances are, they will be bending over backwards to have you on their team.
Conversely, if you performed mediocre-ly, you will have an uphill battle justifying that premium.
If you are a senior executive and these interviews are few and far between, you will need to hone your interview skills to make each opportunity count. Speak to us regarding our Interview Masterclass for Senior Executives.
6. Know when to walk away
As Kenny Roger’s song goes, “You need to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”
Likewise, know the range of remuneration for which you will walk away happy or to fold your cards and go home.
Never sell yourself cheap or you may just regret it once the workload gets above your monthly paycheque.