The Worst Mistakes You Can Make In A Salary Negotiation


According to a study 99.9% of hires make mistakes while making salary negotiations. Of course it is understandable that this age people are excited about working somewhere and hence they agree to wherever they get to work.

Though none is offended by a good negotiation. If a company is motivated to hire you and you are motivated to work at a company, then a good discussion about the job makes everybody happy.

good salary negotiation is a win-win. Both sides get more motivated. The pie gets larger.

Having A Smaller List

It is not only regarding money. The side with the bigger list of terms wins. Because then you can give up the nickels in exchange for the dimes.

Things to be negotiated include vacation time, medical leaves, bonuses, what requirements are in place for promotions, what’s the non-compete, employee ownership (in some cases), potential profit participation, moving expenses, etc.

Again, the bigger list wins.

Negotiating At The Wrong Time Of Day

This is a secret weapon nobody knows or no one uses.

One from the greatest negotiators in business history, Carl Icahn, has a trick. Let’s borrow his trick from him.

He schedules negotiations late in the day. Then he sleeps all day.

All human beings experience “willpower depletion”. They have the willpower to avoid cake in the morning, but they run out by the time it is evening.

If you are offered a job in the morning, say, “This is great. Let me go over it and figure out logistics and family issues and call you back later.” Then SLEEP. Then call back as late in the day as possible to negotiate.

ALSO READ: Millennials are Ready to Change Jobs for Salary Hikes

Thinking Too Short-Term

You are not going to be there for 2 weeks and then quit. Know about the long-term.

What is the potential for the company? What is the potential for someone in your division to rise up in the company? Is the company doing well?

Always have a vision for your career path, as it directly motivates how much money and other things you may need up front.

Saying Yes Too Fast

The best negotiation I ever had was when I said, “let me think about it”. And then waiting.

And really thinking about it. Making my list. Doing due diligence. Really thinking if there are other offers Or potential offers.

Your value on the job market works like value on every other market: supply and demand. Really determine what the supply is for your services and if you can potentially be in demand.

When you first get interest in being made an offer, you have to determine immediately what the supply is. If supply is zero, you put yourself in a bad position.

But regardless, you can act like supply is great by being patient and saying first, “Let me go over all of this. It’s a lot to take in. I’m really grateful for the offer. How about we talk in a day or so.”

Trust me: this is a scary thing to say but it has worked for me at least three different times and I was scared to death each time.

Bad Math

What are people with comparable skills making in the industry?

What monetary value do you bring to the company (really your salary should be a function of that). If you were a freelancer or a company doing the work, what would you charge? Your salary + perks should be in the ballpark.

Prepare by doing all the math.

Always ask for advice first. “If you were me being offered this job, what would you ask for?”

Or, “You guys are the experts on how one can grow and flourish and bring the most value to your company. What should I ask for and how do you see me growing in the company? Can we outline that out?”

You can say, “Because I like this company a lot and want to accept this, I trust that you will help me figure out the right things to ask for here. Is there anything I’m missing?”

This gives them the chance to negotiate against themselves.

People Don’t Ask “How?”

If they offer too little or no moving expenses or no vacation or no path to promotion, simply ask: “How?”

For instance: Other people in the industry are making $X. I know that I offer $Y in value. Can you walk me through how I can accept $Z that you are offering?”

They will keep talking and the numbers will change. Trust me on this.

Don’t Take Advantage If They Show Weakness

Many people are powerless. But they don’t want to be. Particularly when you are telling them.

If you ask for something and they say, “We can’t. This is HR guidelines”. Say, “Hmmm, are you guys powerless to do anything about this?” Nobody wants to feel powerless [this is a good trick picked up from my Chris Voss podcast]. They will make changes or work this through HR.

Many People Don’t Mirror

If they say, “We will offer $100,000 but can’t go a penny higher” repeat back to them, “you can’t go a penny higher.”