6 Best Salary Negotiation Tips

These are a few salary negotiation tips for those trying to find working methods for getting a raise or other benefits.  

Salary negotiation fundamentals

  1. Forget the myths about salary negotiation
    • Forget about the media version of "I want a raise" or anything else guaranteed to annoy the employer. That just doesn't happen. You're more likely to be fired than to be given a few seconds to state your case. 
    • Also forget about the very complex, difficult negotiation techniques used by professional negotiators. They look good, but they're not useful in this case. They're designed for business negotiations, not salaries.
  1. Planning

A successful salary negotiation requires diplomacy, situational awareness and realism. Before you approach your employer for a salary negotiation, you should have a very clear idea of what you're trying to achieve.

    • Assign a value to the salary you want.
    • Check market rates for your work so you can give a clearly reasonable figure for your raise.

Be flexible and consider options which will equate to that value.

When planning, don't stick to a purely cash based salary approach. If you ask for cash only, expect an instant refusal if the number is out of budget range.

These are areas for negotiation which fit workable scenarios:

    • Salary
    • Package benefits
    • Bonuses
    • Hours of work
    • Telecommuting

All of these can represent large amounts of money, either as hard currency or reducing your costs. If you want a $10,000 increase in salary, it can be done like this so you actually make more:

    • A $5000 increase in pay.
    • A package worth $2,000
    • Flexible hours which allow you to save $5000 a year in commuting
    • A telecommuting arrangement which allows you to do more work, worth $8000 more to you because you have more time and space to work with.

That's $20,000, not $10,000. This sort of arrangement works in many professional areas, particularly sales.

  1. Approaching the employer for a raise

This should be done by making discreet inquiries in advance. Test the response, and ask colleagues how the employer operates when considering raises.

Important: Employers have to control how and when they give raises, and to whom. Respect that process, and do things according to the house rules. Do not, under any circumstances, put the employer in a position where a refusal to negotiate is the only option.

  1. Stating your case for a raise

Keep your salary requirements simple so the employer understands your needs. If you want $10,000, say that you're looking at a "net value increase in your package" of that amount, in whatever form is feasible.

  1. Counter offers

Consider the counter offer as a current benchmark value. If you have to reject the counter offer, make a reasonable case for your rejection, and say you're prepared to consider amended versions, if you are.

  1. Don't insist on specific points unless absolutely unavoidable.

Negotiations can break down instantly if there's no room for maneuver. The sticking points can usually be modified if you're prepared to develop other areas of negotiation. Use a tradeoff approach, "this for that".