Salary negotiation is the process of discussing and arriving at an acceptable salary to an employee and employer. However, before going into a salary negotiation, it is essential to be prepared as you do not want to be caught off guard in the middle of a negotiation. This article will be divided into steps to consider while preparing to negotiate as well as steps involved during negotiation.

Preparing to Negotiate

In preparation for negotiation, the following steps are paramount:

Research the Salary Range: Before negotiating, you need to find out the average salary range for the job position you are seeking. You are doing this to derive two pieces of information: personalised estimate and walk away point. The former is the amount you would get ideally. It is also worthy to note that this is your point of negotiation. The latter is your walk-away point.

You can research the salary range of similar job positions through a general web search, e.g. “Average Salary for Product Managers in Australia”. Websites like Glassdoor and PayScale provide salary information tools for specific companies based on their location.

Picking a Salary Range: While deciding on a salary range, it is essential to think of trade-offs that can make you agree to a deal, e.g. flexibility or other benefits can be more attractive for a slightly lower salary. Also, make sure you do not settle for a low range. Research shows that people (women mainly) wrongly estimate their worth.

Prepare for different types of negotiators: The different types of negotiators ranges between the firm with a terse “NO” and the flexible who comes off as agreeable. Do not take things personally and be prepared to go back-and-forth, even in the face of resistance. Besides, spend more time practising as this helps to boost your confidence.

The Negotiation

Before going into the engagement rules of negotiation, it is essential to note that it is unethical to reveal your previous or current salary during the interview because it is confidential, and disclosing such information means you’re selling yourself short. It also reduces your chances of negotiating. Remember, it is a professional setting, so avoid any form of argument during the process. The following are steps to consider during the interview:

Delay salary talk: If you are interviewing for the job, make sure you redirect questions about salary even if asked, as it may be a step to disqualify candidates. Wait until you have gotten an offer. For example, say the interviewer asked you about your salary requirements before anything, it is polite to say “I understand that this is important, but first I’d like to hear about. . .” However, if you have secured an offer, delaying the conversation also gives you another chance to reevaluate your preparation. Keep in mind that salary discussions come up before/after the negotiation. Nevertheless, the step works in both instances.

Allow the employer to give the first number: By adopting this strategy, you can cut the chances of selling yourself short and looking desperate. If asked to make an offer, you can counter by asking directly for their budget or stating that you will consider a reasonable offer. This action spurs them to give an initial offer, but If your question is unanswered, then you can proceed to provide the estimate you arrived at during your research.

Negotiate the offer: Peradventure you were given an initial offer, do not accept it as employers want negotiation. Go ahead to state your personalised estimate. However, if they are still insistent on the initial offer, you can proceed to give reasons justifying your initial proposal. In the process, make sure you bolster your point by showing your credentials, experience and accomplishments. If they are still not convinced, you can ask how they arrived at their budget.

Discuss other benefits: If you are still unable to reach a mutual agreement, you can discuss other potential benefits or costs outside the base pay. This could be other benefits such as leaves, salary packaging, health insurance, parking, professional development, etc. You can also ask additional questions relating to salary raises or promotion.