Negotiating a higher salary is one of the most effective ways to maximize your lifetime earnings potential. Negotiating your salary before accepting a new position increases the amount of income you will earn in your new role as well as future ones. If you are renegotiating your salary at an existing company, the same advice applies.
According to research conducted by best-selling authors of Women Don’t Ask Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, men who negotiated their initial salaries were able to raise those salaries by an average of 7.4%. Moreover, their research found that women who consistently negotiate their salaries earn at least one million more over their lifetimes on average than those who do not.
So, what are some negotiating strategies you should be prepared to use the next time you’re hired for a new job? Here are four fool-proof methods to negotiate your way to higher income.
Know Your Worth
Placing a dollar amount on yourself may or may not be comfortable for you. Put those uneasy feelings aside for a second, it’s vital that you conduct thorough research on the exact position you’re interviewing for, taking into account the average price range for that job title, required experience, and responsibilities. You’ll want to know the national and local average salary so that you can best assign your own monetary worth to what you would bring to the position.
In order to successfully negotiate for the salary you feel you deserve, coming with a realistic and defendable number will aid you in discussions.
Prepare Your Value Statements
Know your value to the company and be able to articulate it clearly. Don’t ask for higher pay just because. In negotiations, share exactly what makes you so valuable to the company and cite instances where your value is easily demonstrated and proven to be effective.
Writing down and practicing your personal value statements is a good idea. The more familiar they are to you and more comfortable you are speaking your value out loud, the easier it will be for you to reinforce your value over and over again during salary negotiations.
Salary negotiations are not a time to be shy. You know your worth, you’ve prepared your value statements – now it’s time to sell yourself. Here’s where you really need to swing for the fences and convince the person sitting across from you why you are worth the higher salary.
Confidently share your value as well as what you’re worth and why. Help the hiring manager envision you in the role you are interviewing for if it’s a new job. Summarize your greatest contributions and all the ways you will continue to excel and perform in the future as you ask for your raise.
Ask for What You Want
Don’t miss the most important part – asking for what you want. It’s not enough to know your worth and value; you have to be willing to ask for it. Once you have successfully positioned yourself as someone deserving of a higher salary, clearly and confidently ask for the salary and other perks that brought you into that meeting in the first place.
You can either wait and allow the employer to lead with a number or you can. If you throw out the number first, just be sure to start with a higher number because it is always easier to negotiate down than up.
If you handle your salary negotiation professionally as I’ve outlined here, the worst that can happen is that the employer says no to the ideal salary amount you wanted. If they say no, ask what you need to accomplish to get to your goal.
If you are interviewing for a new role, know your minimum number beforehand so that you can gracefully decline an offer as positively as possible. Otherwise, chances are you will manage to negotiate a higher salary within a range that you feel good about.
Negotiation is a powerful skill. This one conversation has the power to significantly increase your lifetime earning potential. It’s absolutely a conversation worth having.