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The 7 Steps to Successful Salary Negotiation

business handshake in an office to seal a partnershipLet’s face it, most of us (men and women) find engaging in a salary negotiation discussion about as comfortable as presenting to a large room full of strangers. It is daunting, yet it is an essential skill to master for the sake of your confidence, career and your bank account.

To increase your comfort level and the likelihood of achieving a positive outcome from the salary discussion follow this 7 step process;

1. Prepare the meeting agenda (keep it brief).
A clear road map of what is to be discussed will keep you on track and provides a more professional edge to the discussion.

2. Research the job market for current salary data & document what you are seeking.
There is an abundance of free information available online for salary data such as pay scale, also through personal networks, HR, Industry Associations and Recruitment Firms you can find out where to pitch yourself.

3. Prepare the business case (keep it factual and concise).
It is less about your needs (i.e. tenure or having a big mortgage to pay) and more about you selling your past value and achievements and your future potential and benefits to your employer.

4. List your alternatives & what items you would be prepared to negotiate.
You must have clarity around what items you are looking to negotiate, such as base salary, flexible work hours and a car park (avoiding a shopping list of requests, instead package it up).

5. Anticipate potential objections & prepare responses.
Entering into any sort of negotiation is more likely than not to be met with objections. Ensuring you prepare for these is very important so you don’t get put off. The most common objection provided is variations around the company and/or division not having the budget or funds to provide any increases. Very rarely is this the case, as they can and will always find the funds if they believe you to be an asset to the business.

6. Book a meeting with the decision maker/s on neutral territory.
Wherever possible conduct the negotiation meeting face to face and on neutral territory. This ensures that you are is not disadvantaged.

7. Role play and practice of negotiation meeting.
The avoidance to negotiate is largely due to people not have the training or experience in negotiating. Without seeking out opportunities to practice negotiating (around anything, even a coffee) and role-playing you are unlikely to gain the confidence you need to be successful. Research suggests that if you don’t act on the decision to do something out of your normal routine within 5 seconds, chances are you won’t act. So there is only a small window of opportunity each time to convince yourself to move out of our comfort zone.

There is never a right or best time to have the salary negotiation discussion. The right time is now, be it with your current or prospective employer. Don’t wait for the next performance or pay review, or until you finish the current project you are working on, or until you achieve a certain qualification. Start the process today!

Download your complimentary salary negotiation checklist – Salary-Package-Negotiation-Preparation-Checklist

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach with her own Career & Executive Coaching Practice. She has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space and has published a book on Amazon, ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’. 

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