Disclaimer: A lot of people get a bad feeling in their gut when they hear the word “negotiation”. I understand this impulse given the old-school, manipulative sales way of doing things that used to dominate America. Please know that any and all negotiation we discuss here (and that I do) is negotiation based on integrity and honesty. Not only is this the right thing to do, it is also more effective these days.
Negotiating your salary often sounds pretty intimidating. I get it. Negotiating in general often does. It definitely did to me when I first started thinking about it and doing it. And while I’m incredibly skilled at negotiating at this point in my life with zero inhibitions about doing big deals with CEO’s of companies, also know that I wasn’t always this way. Two years ago, I was far from the negotiator I am now.
I say this to let you know that the ability to negotiate isn’t simply bestowed upon people. Good or great negotiators get to where they are by looking at what the most influential negotiators do. Then they mirror that. Then they make up their own nuances to refine what they have learned and create a style of negotiation that works for them. This is how I’ve done it and continue to. I wish the same for you. Learning this skill WILL make your life better and make it easier for you to get what you want. Follow the proceeding five step process and you’ll be a skilled salary negotiator in no time.
Step 1: Have A Clear Vision For The Position And Salary You Really Want
In order to negotiate effectively, you need to know what your desired outcome is and be crystal clear on that before you even walk into the first interview. You need to know it before you send out your first resume. There are two reasons why.
First, if you don’t have a crystal clear idea of what you want (and what you REALLY want), the level of excitement and passion you embody throughout the process of creating your resume and the interview process won’t be as strong as it needs to be. Not if you are going to negotiate incredibly effectively.
Second, if you don’t have a crystal clear idea of what you want, you’re not negotiating. You are the subject to other peoples’ wants and desires. It’s as simple as that. Negotiation in and of itself is finding a way to get exactly what you want (or as close to it as humanly possible). In order for that to happen, you need to know EXACTLY what you want.
Step 2: Find Out What The Decision Makers Are Looking For In The Ideal Candidate
You can often find this out through the job description. You can also ask each person you are interviewing with what they are looking for in the ideal candidate. In an ideal case scenario, you’ll have a connection in the company who can consult you on this before the interview process starts. But this last part isn’t necessary.
Once you know what they are looking for, do everything you can to SHOW how you fit the description of this candidate. Show through your resume. Show through the stories you tell that highlight who you are as a person, a professional, and the skills you possess. Show through the actions you take. And don’t hold back here. Ultimately, you want to show them that you are a better fit for the position than anyone else. This is what gives you leverage to negotiate.
Step 3: Understand That You Need To Do All The Right Things Leading Up To The Negotiation
So much of negotiation is the work that you put in before the actual negotiation takes place to get leverage. In the case of negotiating your salary, your leverage includes the mastery of skills you have developed relevant to the position you are interviewing for. It includes your track record of not only success, but delivering incredibly high-performing results. It includes your personality and leadership ability.
If you haven’t yet developed yourself to the point where you have leverage, be willing to. make sure you are prepared to follow through on the work it takes to makes to create leverage. It will result in you being way more valuable to employers and making more money.
If you havedeveloped yourself to the point where you have leverage, great. Sometimes this process can be stressful and it can be tempting to settle. Just remember that by settling on less than what you want, you are limiting your own success now and in the long-term. The people who end up getting what they want stick to their guns, know what they bring to the table and won’t back down from asking for what they deserve. This isn’t in a cocky or arrogant way, but rather in a way that exudes confidence in yourself. It’s based on the facts of who you are, what you have accomplished and what your track record is.
Step 4: Know How Valuable You Are
Everything in sales and negotiation starts with you and your internal state. It starts with your emotions, the thoughts running through your head, and the values you embody as a person. At a physiological level, we have mirror neurons that tell us at a subconscious level where the other person is at. Make sure you take care of your end of things.
At every step through the interview process, you need to be in a GREAT state. Put yourself into a highly positive, optimistic state in which you are incredibly confident that you will perform at a higher level than anyone else in this role. This will come through in what you say and all of the sub communications your body language is giving off. For some people that means listening to pump-up music before. For others it means drinking a lot of coffee. For others it means exercising.
Whatever it takes to get yourself feeling GREAT, do that. And think about all of the great successes you have had in your life. It will boost your confidence to KNOW you are the best person for the job
Step 5: Don’t Settle
Let them present you an offer. If it isn’t what you KNOW you deserve, let them know that you appreciate the offer and are INCREDIBLY excited about the company… but you can’t accept it because you know that with your experience, work ethic and skill set which you have developed over time, you will be bringing a greater level of value than what the salary indicates. Beware of them pushing back and telling you that this job will result in you developing even more skills.
The truth is… if you are REALLY that good and are also skilled in communicating how good you are, someone will pay you the money you are looking for. If you aren’t that good yet, get that good. Build your skills to the point where you produce high-achieving results. Do your best work in your next job. Because thriving in the work that you do and being a better option than anyone else is what gives you the leverage to negotiate.
It’s not easy. But, it is effective. It’s what it takes.
25-Years Old, Scott Piltch resides in Boston, MA as a field salesman with SHI International, a company that partners with the major tech manufacturers in order to provide custom IT solutions that meet the unique needs of businesses of all kinds.
Leading up to his role with SHI, Scott studied under and was mentored by a number of great business minds, under whom he has learned a tremendous amount about Leadership, Sales and Marketing. As a result of this, he became one of the top salesman in an industry-leading leadership development company called The John Maxwell Team and began consulting small businesses on their sales strategies. Moving forward, he has aspirations to develop himself into a game-changing entrepreneur.
While business is most certainly a passion of his, Scott has also made it part of his mission to make the world a better place in whatever way he can. Most recently, Scott performed a TEDx talk on Millennials in the workforce. He plans to expand upon this talk by creating a series of them that will aim to provide solutions to social issues in both the US and abroad.