What to Say With Regard to Pay: How to Effectively Negotiate Your Salary
If the company is thriving, there are often two main issues at work stopping you from getting the dollars you deserve – lack of negotiation skills or lack of worthiness. Let’s start with the latter.
Even Cynthia Good, founding editor of Pink Magazine, recently wrote that back when she was a TV reporter and anchor, she found herself quietly accepting her 2-3% raise year after year even though the network was doing well, and she received high ratings and stellar praise from her boss. “Like so many other woman, I didn’t ask for additional money. I was just happy to have the job and didn’t feel my work was worth any more.”
Ladies, this belief system is not serving any of us! If you possess strong skills and abilities, and your performance appraisals or supervisor’s feedback is consistently positive, you are worthy of receiving a salary that reflects your talent. When you accept less, not only are you sabotaging your own financial growth, but you are indirectly hurting every working woman.
For example, in the professional speaking world it’s not uncommon for fewer female speakers to receive top dollar as compared to many of their male colleagues. It has nothing to do with their talent, skills, ability to communicate or make an audience laugh out loud. It simply is because too many female speakers sell themselves short, accept ridiculously reduced fees, and make it more difficult for the rest of us to justify and capture the fee we deserve.
Feeling worthy is an inside job, and the most important job you’ll ever have! Not feeling it? Read inspirational books, journal, visualize and affirm your worthiness to overcome this mindset.
The second major reason women walk away with less than they deserve is due to ineffective negotiation skills. Let’s take a look at a few techniques that can support you in getting more of what you want.
Those of you that attended my negotiation program know I believe in doing your homework, so it’s imperative you research the going rate of your position. Assuming you have, let’s talk about what you can say when you’re face-to-face with the HR Department or your supervisor.
Think about what’s important to the company’s bottom line: Increased income, decreased expenses and solid customer service. Since you need factual back-up to justify your fee, decide what measurable contributions you’ve made over the past year in each of those areas. For example, “Mr. Jones, I like contributing to this company, and I also recognize that the company is benefiting from my ability to support multiple supervisors without additional help, locate vendors to reduce costs by 3%, and serve as an effective liaison with external clients. Given my contributions, I am asking for a 15% raise.”
Negotiating for a new position? When a future employer asks you what type of salary you’re looking for, and you’re unsure of their range, try to postpone stating an exact fee. In fact, it’s best to delay talking about salary until you have a firm offer in hand. If that isn’t possible, say, “I’m most interested in working for this company, and I believe I have a lot to offer. I’m sure we can work together to find a salary we can both agree on.” If pressed again, simply state a range of what you want with the low end reflecting what you’d be thrilled to receive.
If the employer says, “Our range is between $45,000 and $50,000,” say, “I was hoping for between $50,000 and $55,000.” Or you may ask, “Where does that offer fall within the range for similar positions in the company?” Or, simply repeat the amount out loud, “Mmm, $50,000.” This technique alone often subtlety states their need to do better.
If the offer is too low, say, “Based on my understanding of the position, and the skills and experience I bring, I feel I am worth $___ more than you’re offering me.” After that, zip it. Get comfortable with the quiet – it’s making you money!
What has Cynthia Good observed now that she’s in the position to dole out the raises? The men use “every opportunity to remind us of their accomplishments and their need for another raise.” And now that she’s coaching the woman on her team, they are too!
If you would like to learn more, check out my latest program, “The Truth About Negotiation: 7 Strategies for Success” (2 audio CD’s) on my website at www.SpeakYourTruth.com/store/