How to negotiate for a salary

So you just got a job, they made you an offer. It is the highest you have ever earned. You are elated. You accept. I am here to tell you that you just left a lot of money on the table.

Okay fine. Let's go.

Always negotiate. No matter how much the pay is. This is because a company's first offer to you is hardly the highest they can offer. Most companies have a band for different levels. Try to find out what the upper limit of the band is.

Now, this is, of course, different for small businesses. This thread is really focused on large to medium-sized companies.

Now that we have that out of the way. I'll illustrate with a real-life example.

A friend of mine got a job at a big company. They made an offer.

Let's call him Sam

They made Sam an offer that was amazing & when he showed it to me, he was reluctant to negotiate. Because the offer was excellent on its own and he was generally uncomfortable negotiating. But I insisted. The rule is simple

"never take the first offer"

So we got to work

He told them thanks for the offer (say $20K per annum) but told them that he is requesting for them to bump the offer to $50K. They declined.

He told me they delined. End of story right?

Me: Nope! Because declining is part of their own negotiating tactic

Now this point is very critical. Don’t pay attention to the decline. Pay attention to the WHY they declined. When people are negotiating they get distracted by the “no”. Frankly, the “no” is not your business. Your business is the reason behind the no. Because that’s your gold

Let me give a practical eg. If they decline by saying

“this is the maximum we have for this level”

That’s okay. Then you negotiate for a level up. If a firm can offer you level 5, they can most likely offer you level 6. This is when you have leverage to make the request

The reason they give you for the decline formed the basis of your response. If they do not give a reason. Always ask.

This is now where you bring the big guns out. Lead with receipts (if you aren't keeping receipts at your present job start now).

Receipts are numbers & facts

Don't start appealing to emotions. No need. Tell them nicely.

This is what I did/achieved in that role and that exposure will enable me to do XYZ in this role more efficiently than anyone else you have hired for this role.

Yes. Employers like confident people.

Now it is possible they actually do not have any more money to give you. Then ask for other things. A more senior title (this one is super useful for your next role), better health coverage, a promise to reopen negotiations in 6 months. Just do not accept the decline & go.

This entire thread contains the strategies we used with Sam. And not only did Sam get a pay increase, he also got a more senior role!

Always negotiate. All the best.

See you on that side!

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