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10 Tips To Help You Win Every Negotiation

Possessing strong negotiating skills can make a big difference in your career. It can help you earn more money, achieve a higher status, and reach your business goals.

Despite the myriad of benefits, very few people are good negotiators. Why is this the case? Well, many people are too worried about being pushy to embrace a strong negotiating stance. However, negotiating is nothing to be afraid of; when it is done well, it doesn’t come off as pushy at all.

Although strong negotiating skills are not something that most people are born with, these skills can definitely be learned and developed over time. All that is required to improve your skills is an understanding of the basics and the courage to practice in real-life situations.

In a nutshell, negotiating is about protecting the value that you provide to others.  Think of negotiating as…

  • a simple process to follow
  • a thoughtful interaction with another person
  • a way to determine even better solutions

Follow the ten tips below, and you will master the basics and be well on your way to becoming a negotiating powerhouse.

Do your homework

Research the topic and think through your options before you initiate the discussion.

Clearly define your goals

Prior to the discussion, make sure you are clear on what you want as well as your “walk-away” point (the minimum outcome you’re willing to accept).

Determine the best timing for the discussion

You’ll want to plan enough time for the discussion and to hold it when all parties are relaxed and calm.

Ask for what you want

Don’t be afraid to explain your needs and what you’d like the outcome to be. However, be sure to do so calmly and in a non-confrontational tone of voice.

See the situation from all angles

Try to understand where the other person is coming from; try asking them to tell you about their needs and key concerns.

Listen, listen, and listen some more

Spend more time listening than talking during the discussion.

Find a creative solution

Think win/win, not that someone must walk away a winner and the other a loser. There’s nothing wrong with working together to determine creative ways to meet the needs of both parties.

Remain calm and avoid getting emotional

The more emotional you become, the more clouded your thinking will be. Keep it logical.

Avoid finger-pointing

Focus on the issues, not on personalities. Be pleasant and never make it personal.

Remember that there will always be a tomorrow

If the discussion heads in a negative direction and tempers flare, it’s okay to recommend picking up the discussion on another day after everyone has an opportunity to take a step back, relax, and think.

Don’t be afraid, embrace the process, and start practicing your negotiating skills today!

For more information on negotiations read our article on the “Job Offer Negotiation for Employees“.

 

Two Offers, One Choice

Searching for a new job is always stressful, but it can be even more stressful when trying to choose between multiple offers. You’re faced with making a decision between two companies, two positions, two compensation plans, and two career paths. Needless to say, it can be daunting.

Compensation should never be the lone deciding factor when choosing between competing opportunities. It’s really more about what’s best for the individual on a personal level. To pick between multiple offers, you really have to consider what is most important to you. Here are a few top things to consider when comparing offers.

Compensation

This is typically the very first thing that people ask about. We all have basic human needs and want to ensure that wherever we go that these basic needs will be met. One thing to consider is that benefits are actually a significant part of your compensation. I recall calculating this issue for myself at one point when deciding whether or not to accept a new opportunity.

My position at the time paid $12,000 more per year than the new offer, but they did not contribute to employee health plans. The new offer paid 100% of all healthcare costs, which amounted to a value of $10,000, and had significantly lower copays. The new offer also doubled the amount of PTO I’d receive per year. This leveled the playing field between the two options, as I determined total compensation was, in reality, equal once taxes and healthcare costs were factored in.

Work-Life Balance

You have your work life and you have your personal life. They rarely overlap but your job is essential to supporting your personal life. When choosing between two offers, take into consideration the workload expectations. I had a coworker that left because of poor work-life balance.

She was really into spending time with her young son and very dedicated to the triathlons she regularly competed in. She took a $45,000 pay cut to go elsewhere. The catalyst was being chastised by her boss for “only” working 40 hours a week (her coworkers were putting in close to 70 hours) even though her work was on point. Her boss told her “You give your son love, you give your races love, why don’t you give us any love?”

It was then she decided that her family and her races were more important than the money. She is much happier now that she is in a place where she can be flexible with her schedule and take time off as needed.

Growth Opportunities

We are all looking for that sense of fulfillment and progress in our lives. When we enter the workforce, we have big ideas of where we would eventually like to be. Finding a place that will help you sharpen your skills and develop new ones to help you move forward is invaluable.

Take a look at how each offer could help you along your desired path.

  • Does it make logical sense that this opportunity would help you reach your long-term goals?
  • What’s the company’s policy on promoting from within?
  • Are there potential mentors within the organization that could be valuable to your personal advancement?

One way to check is by taking a look at the company’s LinkedIn page and seeing how long employees stay with the organization and when they’ve had title changes throughout their tenure. You could also ask your interviewers where they see the company heading and what kind of new opportunities will be created as the company grows.

Summary

Comparing two job offers is a challenge in self-knowledge. What matters the most to you? Flexibility or opportunity for promotions? Low co-pays or casual Fridays? Performance bonuses or a high salary? There are too many variables to measure and track. Analyze them as best you can and go with your gut. At the end of the day, the only person who really knows what best for you is you.

 

Job Offer Negotiation for Employees

Job Offer Negotiation for Employees

As search consultants, we’re involved with a high number of salary negotiations. While the job candidate and hiring company are always changing, there are several rules (maybe guidelines is a better term) that must remain steadfast if both parties are to get what they want.

These are thirteen salary negotiation rules that, if followed, can lead to a bigger paycheck and a better relationship with your new company.

Job Offer Negotiation for Employees

Do your homework. Understand the goals of the hiring company. What are the results that drive profitability for them? Why are they hiring for this position to begin with? What do they hope to accomplish? Understand the role of the hiring manager. What’s his or her motivation? He or she needs to fill the position, but on what metrics or outcomes is he or she judged? Realize that you’re negotiating with another person, not a faceless corporation. The other party has bosses, goals, and incentives just like you. The better you understand the position and needs of the other party involved in the negotiation the better you’ll be able to predict their responses.

Be likable. Hiring managers are only going to fight for you if they like you. The more they like you the more likely it is that the other side will work to get you a better offer.

Know your worth. What’s the average salary for employees in similar positions? What does this average look like nationally and locally? What do you bring to the table that can save/make the company money? Know the results you can deliver and how to quantify them.

Based on your homework and presentation, state your price. Start high and be prepared to support your stance.

Make your case. Beyond simply liking you, employers have to believe that you’re worth the compensation you’re after. You can’t just demand that they increase their offer by 15%. You don’t get anything for free in a negotiation. You have to justify your demand. This is best done in the form of a story. Tell them about the exceptional results you delivered in your last position or your plans to boost sales in your region within the first 90 days on the job. Give them something that both sticks with the hiring manager and justifies your increased requirements.

Let them know they can get you. The greatest fear of every hiring manager is that they are going to put their neck on the line to get an improved offer for a candidate and the candidate will look at the offer and turn it down. If you intend to negotiate for a better package, make it clear that you’re serious about working for this employer.

“What is your salary history?” This question and other difficult ones are coming. You need to be prepared. Your goal with these questions is, to be honest, while still looking like an attractive candidate and, since you are negotiating, giving up as little bargaining power as possible. Plan your responses to these questions in advance. Winging it won’t do you any favors.

Outline your skills and experience. Every professional has a unique blend of skills and experience; you need to identify what makes you different. Even more than that, you have to sell the hiring manager on how you will have a direct, positive impact on the key metrics that drive profitability for the company. Keep it succinct and logical.

Understand the firm’s limitations. Some companies have salary caps or other controls in place that just cannot be changed through negotiation. Find out where there is flexibility and negotiating room. When you understand the limitations of the company, you’ll be much more effective at presenting options that create a win-win scenario.

Don’t negotiate just because you feel you have to. If something is critical to your happiness and security, negotiate for it. Don’t be petty about the small stuff.

Consider the whole deal. Salary is a big part of any job offer. It’s probably the biggest part. However, there are other things to consider. Don’t get so focused on money that you miss the opportunity for improved benefits, travel schedule, flexibility, work from home, and insurance. These are often overlooked, but make up a significant part of your job satisfaction.

Prepare yourself ahead of time to politely thank the interviewer and walk away, to request time to consider the offer, and if you get what you want, by all means, say “Yes!”.

Keep things in perspective. You might negotiate wonderfully and get everything you want, but still, end up in a bad situation. In the end, the negotiation is just the beginning of your tenure with a new company. Landing a job that you love is more important than any negotiation. These rules can help you get the offer that you deserve, but should only come into play when you find that opportunity that will lead to the long and fruitful career you desire.

For more information on negotiations read our article on the “10 Tips To Help You Win Every Negotiation“.