Steps to Salary Negotiation Success

When you accepted your current position, did you negotiate your salary? If you’re a woman, chances are your answer to this question is ‘no’.

In my coaching practice, I’ve helped countless women overcome nerves about negotiating their salaries. Here are my top five tips for negotiating a fair, reasonable and equitable salary the next you’re accepting that job offer.


Benchmark salary and conditions in your industry

It’s obvious you won’t be able to negotiate well if you don’t know what is reasonable in your industry. To ensure that you’ve done your homework and know what’s going to be a fair deal for you check the website of your professional association, speak to recruiters or talk to colleagues who work in other organisations. Ask them about the typical salary range for jobs that are similar to yours.

Make sure you know what you’re worth before going into that interview.

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Write down your aspirational salary figure

This is the salary figure you aspire to. It represents your ideal outcome from the salary negotiation. Although you may not actually receive your aspirational figure, it’s important to have something to aim for during negotiations. This will keep you focussed and on-track when you’re talking about what your expectations are.


Set a clear walk-away point

In last month’s tipsheet I explained what a walk-away point is. In salary negotiations, it is represented by the figure that is your bottom-line. If you’re not able to persuade your employer to give you this figure, it’s time to walk away. Many women receive less than they deserve because they fail to set a clear walk away point before beginning negotiation. Don’t YOU be one of these women.

If you’re scared you’ll give too much away during a salary negotiation, ask a friend to rehearse with you. All it takes is two or three practice sessions to have you feeling confident and assertive when you discussing your salary. Need more tips on doing this? Listen to my free podcast Steps to Salary Negotiation Success now.


List possible packaging options

It’s called a salary package for a reason, but many women forget this. Your salary package includes far more than simply the dollars you receive each pay period. A range of items can be included when you’re negotiating your full salary package, including mobile phone, car or car allowance, parking expenses, additional holiday time or flexible hours or childcare.

You’ll find that many employers are willing to negotiate these as they’re an easy way to satisfy you without blowing salary budgets.


Write down a sentence you’ll use to open salary negotiations

One main reason women fail to negotiate salary is they don’t know what to say when an employer puts a salary figure on the table. Its important that you memorise two or three lines you can use in this situation. Some things my coaching clients have said to open up the salary negotiation are “I have a higher figure in mind” and “I’m sure you have room to negotiate”.

It helps to create a response that fits with your personal style. Get details on how to do this easily in my free podcast Steps to Salary Negotiation Success.

Finally, remember that if you have a good back-up plan, you’ll be a much more competent negotiator. Don’t treat any job interview as though it’s your only possibility for getting your ideal job. Instead, make sure that you have two or three interviews lined up around the same time, so that you have options to choose between. For more tips and suggestions on how to become a better negotiator, enrol in my Negotiation Skills for Women course. I’d love to meet you there.


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About the author of this article

The author of this article, Eleanor Shakiba, is passionate about bringing out the best in professional women.  She has been a trusted coach and trainer to thousands of women in high intellect fields. Eleanor is based in Sydney and has an international client base. She is qualified in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming.