Salary negotiation can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience. You finally found a company you like, you’ve done a great interview, the employer likes you, and they want to make an offer! How awesome!
But then you realize, oh shoot, I still have to do the negotiation. And you think – What should I do if the offer amount is too low? Can I ask for more? If yes, how do I even bring it up? What if I ask for too much… or too little? What if I turn them off, and they don’t want to hire me anymore?
And these are all valid concerns. You can do everything well up until this point and ultimately end up with the result that you’re not satisfied or happy with, depending on how well this step of the job process, called negotiation, goes.
Based on my 15+ years of experience working with thousands of ambitious job seekers, I have come to realize that many people find negotiation difficult – not only because they do not know how to do it but also because of the concern that they will come across too money-motivated and the employer may be turned off because of it.
In this article, I will introduce 3 of the EASIEST negotiation methods & strategies you can start using immediately without coming across as overly aggressive or putting off the employer – even if you are not comfortable or experienced with negotiation.
Number 1 – The first tip is this: JUST ASK (nicely)
The first tip is: Just ASK – Just do it!
I have found that many candidates simply dislike negotiating and are unwilling to ask for more.
They worry – what if the employer feels I’m too greedy? Or they feel awkward talking about money and being upfront about it.
But the easiest and the most underrated way to negotiate is simply to ask. You’d be surprised at how often, simply by asking, you may get what you want. You just have to be PLEASANT about it, and that is the key!
And the beauty of this method is, you don’t even have to give any elaborate reason.
If you received an offer and you’re not satisfied with the amount, you can do this:
First, thank them for the offer and that you will consider it. Give it a few days to think it through – this will put the employer in suspense and make them feel that you have given serious consideration to your decision and request.
And then, start by expressing how much you’re interested in the firm and would like to join – this is extremely important because when the employer knows that you like them and they feel they can have you with a little bit more effort, they’d be much more willing to accommodate than otherwise – followed by politely asking if we could negotiate.
You see, most companies expect negotiation to happen. It’s not the first time they negotiated, and you’re definitely not going to be the last person. Most companies (and people) often leave some wiggle room when making an offer, naming a price, etc. Salary negotiation is a natural and common practice! It’s completely expected. So simply by asking, you may find out they are willing to pay more!
As I said, the key is: it’s more important HOW you ask, rather than WHAT you ask.
If you’re rude or threaten not to join unless they pay up, obviously, that will damage your image and reputation, which can lead to the employer reconsidering your offer.
So again, Just ASK (and do it nicely).
Number 2: Give a range
Some people say that range doesn’t really make a difference because we all know that when we give a range as the salary expectation, we mean the lower end. That is NOT true. Giving a range (instead of a single figure) is always better. And this is because of how the human mind and psychology work.
Let me explain:
- When you give a range, it’s much harder to go lower than the low-end, whereas if you provide a single number, it’s easier for the employer to negotiate you down
- If you provide a range, it’s easier for the company to justify the low-end amount than if you only gave one number.
- And sometimes, some employers do not want to look cheap and may even try to go for the middle
- You see, giving a range may not make any difference sometimes, but a range will always give you a result that is, at worst, as good as and often better than a single figure.
Number 3: Use the salary report or survey
You can easily find a salary report or survey for your specific domain and location just by searching on the internet.
Yes, the salary report is sometimes inflated, but it doesn’t mean you cannot use it to justify your ask.
This can be effective if the offer amount is lower than the salary benchmark. Again you can begin by telling the employer that you’re keen on the opportunity and excited about the offer and then explaining to them that the compensation is lower than the salary benchmark according to your research.
Obviously, you will not be able to use this method if the offer amount is higher than the salary benchmark, in which case, you know where your pay stands in the market standard.
Before we finish, here are sample scripts as a bonus. You can use them in a f2f meeting, via email, or on the phone. Of course, change/update them to fit your specific needs and situation.
You will also notice in these sample scripts that the negotiation tips can be used in conjunction with each other. You can use them together to build your negotiation case, make your ask more convincing, and for greater effectiveness….
“Thank you for the offer. I am keen on the opportunity and would love to join. Having said that, I was wondering, is there any room for negotiation? Because I was thinking more in the range of A-B.”
“Thank you for the offer. I am excited about the opportunity. Having said that, I noticed that the offer is lower than the salary benchmark for the [your job title] in [your location] which is more in the range of A-B. I would appreciate it if we could take this into consideration.”
“Thank you so much for the offer. As mentioned before, I am definitely keen on this opportunity and would love to join. I was wondering though if there is any room for negotiation because I was thinking more in the range of A-B based on the market standard of [your job title/nature] positions in [your location].”
Again, these are super simple tips you can use even if you don’t feel confident about negotiation. Using them will often lead to results that are much more attractive (compared to when not asking at all).
Thank you for reading!