Salary Negotiation 101: 4 tips you need to know

There are a ton of salary negotiation techniques out there.

Here are the ones that will give you the best return on your investment:

1. Know Your Benchmarks

TrueCar is a service that gives consumers the “true value” of a car they’re buying and on average they save almost $4k over someone walking in off the street.

Are TrueCar users better negotiators?

Hardly.

They simply know what a fair offer looks like and won’t settle for anything else.

Use services like Glassdoor, PayScale, Salary.com, to know what the avergae candidates with similar experience are getting paid.

Now ask for higher end on that range.

After all, you’re not average 🙂

2. Rarely Disclose Your Current Salary

Enter $1 in the online form.

Tell them “I’d rather not discuss numbers until an offer is on the table.”

Tell them you promised to keep your previous salary confidential.

Do whatever you can to not turn over your cards.

If you’re making 100k and your new job offers 110k, you might be happy with the offer.

Until you find out all of your peers make 130k.

Instead, counter with “what’s the expected range for this position?” and work from there.

If their own employees salaries are confidential, why shouldn’t yours be?

3. Negotiate The Details

It may seem scary to negotiate your salary – particularly for a dream. Truth is, if you don’t push back at least a little – the hiring manager will wonder if they could have bought you cheaper.

You should ALWAYS negotiate something. Even if it’s just the details.

Ask to see the contract before you start going back and forth in salary negotiation (either via phone or email if that’s more comfortable for you).

Why?

Because the devil is in the details.

  • That 100k offer? It could be 40k with the rest in bonuses.
  • Health insurance? Oh yeah, we don’t have that yet.
  • Parking? Yeah you’ll have pay $120/month because we have a cool downtown office.
  • Paid vacation? Oh sorry, it’s unpaid and only 2 weeks.
  • That title you wanted? You have to earn it after 12 months.
  • Your manager? You haven’t met him yet because he’s an asshole and the CEO’s son.

It also allows your to process the offer and know what your lower limits are.

4. Check Your Confidence

When you step into a gym, do you immediately load the bar with 400lbs and start squatting?

Did you throw on 3 plates and start benching?

Of course, not. You start small and work your way up.

Well, salary negotiation is also a muscle you have to exercise.

By negotiating for what you want with small things, it will be easier to negotiate harder things later on. Your hiring manager has probably negotiated dozens of offers over the last few weeks.

This is probably your first negotiation in a few years.

And your confidence reflects that.

Practice with other job offers, mock salary negotiations with friends, or simply writing out your answers beforehand (email them if you have to).

If you really think about how much more you could earn (10,20,40k/year or more) for how many hours you put in, it might be the best use of your time out of anything you’ve ever done in your career.

Lastly, never be afraid of walking away from the negotiating table. Good jobs are like buses, there’s another one 15 minutes away.

Better to shake on it and remain friends than spend a couple years in a job you resent.