You, yes you, ALREADY are a master negotiator! (And you can be a master at salary negotiation skills, as well.)
While you may not be negotiating your salary every day, you are encountering negotiation examples in everyday life—negotiating who is going to make dinner tonight, what the budget is for a new car or how much money to save for the future and so on. From major life decisions to the mundane daily life issues, negotiating is the way we get things done.
In this article, we dive into how to tap into your already finely tuned negotiation skills to successfully maneuver salary negotiations. It really is all about listening, having an open mindset, learning the other parties’ concerns and then communicating well to persuade the other party.
Once you realize you are using the same skills to negotiate with a child to eat their vegetables or pitching a customer, you’ll never be nervous again when negotiating your worth in a salary discussion. Here are three tips:
A learning mindset creates an openness to understand the other party and the outcome desired. The ability to use good listening skills for discovery shapes the process. Identify the unspoken ‘pain points’ you are going to alleviate by providing your expertise to a company and speak to those skills. Also, if the result regarding an annual salary cannot be agreed upon, then what are other areas of consideration to work with? Can you request flex time, more vacation or an earlier evaluation tied to a salary increase? Always being open and flexible with a learning mindset may not get the exact outcome, but makes for a meaningful exchange where both parties get some of what they want. Have you ever negotiated curfew with a teenager? If so, you’ve so got this!
Know your walk away point and what happens when there is no deal. This shows your value brought to the table, which is useful information for the other party to consider. It is also your selling tool. For example, think of a car purchase. You probably communicated your research and knowledge of the invoice price and intention to decide that day. Because you did your research and knew your walk away point, you created a favorable negotiation environment. Use this same approach when in a salary negotiation; highlight how you researched the company, know the market value of your experience and express confidence in your skills and experience. Instead of walking off the lot with a new set of wheels, you’ll leave the table with a job you are excited to start!
Communicating clear intentions by stating and asking for the outcome desired goes something like this, “I am asking for X because…” and then provide the examples of accomplishments you possess that relate directly to their needs. This helps the other party understand your motivation and clearly outlines mutual benefits secured by meeting your request. Once they have this information to work with, it creates an openness with figuring out how both parties can get the best deal. A soft, calm, confident demeanor translates into a supportive and understanding problem solving “win win” negotiation experience. Remember those times you told a family member, “I expect you to pull your weight with household chores because if we all pitch in, it makes things easier for everyone and we can use the money saved on a housekeeper to go on a fun vacation”? You were using your negotiation skills by stating clear intentions and mutually beneficial desired outcomes. Same skills—just a different situation!
May these necessary negotiation tools provide a successful outcome and a great salary. Keep on negotiating!
“Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” John F. Kennedy
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