You’re poised to land that job. Now all you need to do is convince them you’re worth a fatter pay cheque. Try these six tricks to gently push for more:
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Salary information is easily available on online career sites, so there’s no reason to go into a negotiation blind, says an international negotiations consultant. “Find out what the pay ranges are in the company you’re applying to. Or compare similar positions in other companies.” By having a good idea of the market rate, you can back up your salary expectation (read: the interviewers won’t throw back their heads and laugh).
SHH, DON’T MENTION $$…
Until they raise the topic, that is. The consultant explains: “You want to win them over with how you can contribute to the company first.” A head of human resources consultancy agrees. “Say, ‘In my previous company, I exceeded my sales targets every quarter. I believe I can achieve that here too.’ Only then should you state your salary expectations.” A tip: Never ask what their budget is. “Your worth has nothing to do with their budget.”
DON’T BE MEAN
Pounding tables with your fists won’t get you anywhere. Instead, be confident and resolute. Pull your shoulders back and look them in the eye with a firm smile. “Your confidence will lead them to believe they’re making the right choice by hiring a person who can deliver. This convinces them to pay you a little more.” But don’t forget to be polite. “It’s easier for people to be generous when they like you.”
DON’T BE DESPERATE
It’s easy to be so elated with the job offer that you immediately accept the first figure the employer offers. Don’t say “I’m hoping for a monthly salary of $5,000, but I’ll take anything!” Instead, pause after you state your desired amount and see how the interviewers react. Then emphasise that you’d like them to go a bit higher, and that you really want the job. “Sit tight, look them straight in the eye and smile.”
SPECIFY A FIGURE, NOT A RANGE
A range is wishy-washy, but a figure can be justified. “So say a figure like $5,200, instead of a range like $5,000 to $6,000. In any case, they will only look at the lower figure if you give a range.” Then wait for them to offer something else if they don’t match what you want. “If you’re willing to be flexible, be clear what you mean by that – like a lower monthly salary if they offer you a higher bonus.”
SHOW YOUR DESIRABILITY
“If you have other offers, it puts you in a stronger bargaining position,” says the negotiation consultant. “So don’t put all your eggs in one basket and target only the best company in town.” If you have more choices, you can say, “I have an offer from Why Pay More Pte Ltd, but I would love to work for you. Can you make a better offer?”
This story was originally published in the May 2011 issue of Her World.