Negotiate Salary: How to increase your salary

December 02, 2021  •  Reading Time: 13 min.

Salary negotiations after the job offer: 14 tips for a great salary offer or a higher salary

Whether during employment at a company or when transferring to a new job, everyone will encounter the topic of salary negotiation during the course of their career. For career starters, this issue is particularly difficult because they often don’t know how much salary they can ask for in the first place and how best to talk to their employer.

So, how can you ask for more money or a higher salary offer? What can you do, what shouldn’t you do?

salary negotiation

In order to best prepare for your salary negotiation, we have compiled the best tips (and also the worst mistakes) for you.

How do you negotiate salary after receiving a job offer?

Your current position is no longer a good fit and you are on the job search looking for job openings and job offers on the market? During the interview process and later during the hiring process, it is important for job seekers to negotiate their pay or base salary wisely, regardless of the job title.

  • Have courage.

When negotiating your starting salary with your new employer, false modesty is out of place. Realize that the salary you negotiate now will be the basis for your income in the years to come.

  • Find out about salaries that are standard in the industry.

Pay negotiations are about getting a fair price for your work. That’s why it’s important to know your market value. Find out what amounts are common for the job and what the average salaries are in the industry.

  • Get the timing right

Good timing is crucial when negotiating. If you bring up the subject too early, you will quickly be suspected of being primarily concerned with money. If you wait too long, you will appear insecure.

  • Think about your employer, too.

This tip may sound strange, after all, it’s about your salary. But take the company’s perspective. Of course, the company wants to know what they’re getting for their money.

  • Stick to the truth.

The foundation for successful contract negotiations is honesty – on both sides. Resist the temptation to invent a competing offer or exaggerate your previous salary.

  • Don’t just look at the money.

Money should not be your only concern. Consider in advance what additional benefits would be of interest to you. If the salary offered is too low, you can ask directly for additional benefits or a whole compensation package (e.g., moving expenses, signing bonus/sign-on bonus, more vacation time, stock options or other benefits).

Salary range: How much should you negotiate your salary?

The payment is usually not specified in advance in the job description. Therefore, we would like to give you some salary negotiation tips on how to negotiate with the hiring manager to get the best salary offer.

In order to be able to answer the question about payment appropriately in the job interview, you should have prepared for it beforehand.

Do you know the upper and lower limits that are common in the industry? Do you know what your minimum pay should be based on your work experience?

Find out how much someone in the same position makes on average. But you should also consider other factors: Your qualifications and work experience, the size of the company, the industry and the region.

Pay attention to whether your potential employer is looking for specific professional qualifications. If you as an applicant bring exactly these with you and the demand for your expertise on the job market is greater than the supply, you are in a good negotiating position.

The compensation question is usually clarified at the end of the last interview in the application process.

Examples:

  • “In accordance with my professional qualifications, I consider a salary of $75,570/year to be appropriate.”
  • “My salary range is between $75,000 and $80,000 per year.”

It is always important that you yourself are convinced of your demand and your arguments. Only then will you be able to negotiate skillfully with the hiring manager.

Negotiation with the hiring manager: 14 salary negotiation tips

When it comes to salary negotiations after a job offer, you should be prepared and know your market value. A few psychological and rhetorical tips and tricks will help with salary negotiations and that you receive the starting salary you want:

1. Find out about the salaries customary in the industry

Do some market research: To avoid asking your prospective employer for too high a salary, it is a good idea to find out about the standard industry salaries for the position you are applying for. Knowing the market average can give you a good indication of your salary expectations and even serve as justification.

Tip: You can google an estimated compensation for many job openings before you apply to a specific company.

2. Be persistent

If your negotiating partner makes you an offer that is too low: Stay calm! This can be a stress test. It is better to repeat your own request with factual arguments. This is a salary meeting, not a value judgment about you! And remember: Your future employer is not your adversary. If you maintain a positive tone during compensation and benefits negotiations, you will be better equipped to handle this kind of conversation.

3. Put your salary in context

Many employers will go on the offensive during salary negotiations and try to negotiate down your target salary. Don’t deviate too far from your target, and always put your target salary in relation to the going rate in the industry (preferably with a slightly higher number than you are aiming for).

4. Always give a salary range

When asked about your salary requirements or desired salary amount, always provide a range based on what others in the industry are earning, not just a fixed number. The reason for this is that if you have an acceptable salary range, you can negotiate and compromise more easily.

5. Show gratitude

If you’ve reached the offer stage of the hiring process, you’ve likely invested time and energy in the application and interview. The employer has also invested a lot of time in the process. Therefore, it is important that you acknowledge this and thank him for considering you for the position. Also, mention the reasons why you are excited about the position, such as the company culture or the product.

6. Never accept the first offer

Never accept the first offer. This is never the best course of action in salary negotiations. By making you an offer, the hiring manager is signaling: They are willing to negotiate and have room to maneuver.

7. Negotiate by email for as long as possible

If you are negotiating for (more) money, you should first do so in writing and not in person – for example, by stating your salary expectations in advance. This is because the written distance ensures more focus on factual arguments.

Examples:

“Thank you very much for the job offer. I am looking forward to working in your team. I would like to discuss my salary expectations in advance. Based on my experience and education level, I believe an annual salary of $75.650 is appropriate. I am confident that we can find a solution that is beneficial to both of us.”

“The new responsibilities and projects will contribute greatly to improving the company’s bottom line. My salary expectation is in line with the market salary in this industry and position. I ask that you respectfully consider my offer. I am confident that we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.”

happy dancing man after winning his salary negotiation

8. Give a crooked number

When asked for your desired salary, give an exact number. For example, “$59,540 a year” instead of “$50,000.” This is because the crooked number comes across as more convincing and better prepared. It signals, “I know what I’m worth.” This reduces the boss’s psychological negotiating leverage.

9. Appear self-confident

Many start salary negotiations shyly and defensively. Don’t do that. You’re not asking for a handout, you’re negotiating! And for nothing less than the equivalent value of your work performance. If you know your value, you can confidently claim it, “I think $77,650 is reasonable.” Of course, don’t get outrageous. But don’t lapse into a supplicant either.

10. Use rhetorical pauses

Many salary negotiators can’t stand pauses in conversation and chatter away the silence. However, silence is an underrated negotiation tactic. When negotiating salary, state your salary expectations. Say, “I’d like to make $65,750.” Then remain silent to emphasize your determination. Of course, the boss will ask how you came up with the salary. But thanks to your portfolio of accomplishments, you have a good case.

11. Listen actively

By listening, reading between the lines and asking questions, you will find out what your counterpart really wants. As long as you ask questions, you put your counterpart in a defensive position and under pressure to explain. You determine the conversation, you can direct it by asking specific questions. But avoid an aggressive undertone and repeat the manager’s statements in your own words. This shows that you understand – and often leads to concessions.

12. Use the mirror technique

When two people like each other, their body language harmonizes. This effect can be used in a targeted way: By mirroring your boss’s behavior and choice of words during salary meetings, you subtly signal to him that you are on the same wavelength. Effect: He gains trust and makes concessions more easily.

13. Counter arguments

Hiring managers often like to try to ward off salary demands with so-called “killer” phrases. You should (mentally) anticipate these arguments and be able to counter them.

Examples:

“Your salary request is over my budget. That’s up to management to decide.” – Response: “As my supervisor, you are in the best position to judge my performance. What increase do you think is appropriate?”

“I’m sorry, our company situation does not allow for that at this time.” – Response: “I am aware of the situation. Therefore, I would be happy to negotiate for additional benefits.”

“You are already being paid more than usual in this position!” – Response: “That doesn’t agree with my research. The average salary is …”

“Unfortunately, you cannot earn more salary in this position. This is beyond our salary range” – Answer: “I also think that my performance speaks for a promotion. Let’s feel free to talk about the next steps in my career…”

14. Keep calm

Negotiations like to be heated. That’s dangerous! Especially at the end of salary negotiations, in the last few minutes, you should maintain a confident attitude. This is when it will become clear who has the stronger nerves. Stick to your salary demand. Your arguments are valid and documented in your performance portfolio. Your strength lies in your composure. This is how you will ultimately win the negotiation.

a woman is waiting for the salary negotiation

4 tips for salary raises

Have you been working at your new company for some time and the next salary negotiation in your current job is just around the corner? To increase your current salary or to get a new position, try negotiating like this:

1. Preparation

Good preparation is the be-all and end-all of any negotiation and for a new salary or generally more pay. That’s why you should start documenting your accomplishments well in advance. Gather feedback, facts and statistics to prove your accomplishments. That marketing campaign you led resulted in a significant increase in sales? Your new employee development program resulted in two new, capable department heads? Put together a portfolio of numbers and data to prove your positive record, and highlight the comparison between before and after – you’ll have powerful arguments on hand to justify your raise.

2. Timing

Choose the right time for your negotiation. As a current employee, you have a decisive advantage here, because you usually know how your company’s finances are doing. What major changes are coming up? In which departments will new positions be created, and in which will positions be eliminated?

Tip: Monday morning is never a good time for negotiations with employers – neither is Friday evening if you’ve had a busy week. Just before lunch? Not a good idea. Your boss’s stomach might be growling, and you want his full attention, after all. Also, plan the appointment so that you have enough time, even if the conversation takes a little longer.

3. Confidence

A salary negotiation is not the time to be modest. Of course, you shouldn’t necessarily fall into bragging, but an insecure demeanor is a poor alternative. Appear confident – firm shoulders, firm voice, eye contact – and give your supervisor no reason to doubt the legitimacy of your demands.

Tip: If you’re considering a promotion or a new job with your current employer, don’t be fobbed off with the argument that management’s hands are tied and pay growth is limited.

4. Argumentation

Explain exactly why you deserve a raise and back up your arguments with valid facts – this will take the wind out of your counterpart’s sails. However, don’t play all your cards right away, but save some of them for the end. Your supervisor will most likely try to persuade you. In that case, you should still have an ace up your sleeve. Also, it’s a good idea to think of some alternatives in advance and ask yourself a few questions. What if your boss refuses to accept your demands? Would you be satisfied with a new company car, advanced training, or extra vacation days? Consider one or two alternatives that would compensate for your salary demands.

The 4 worst mistakes in salary negotiations

There are many things you can do right in a salary negotiation. But there are also some points you should avoid at all costs:

1. Wrong timing

Salary meetings usually mean a raise for the employee. Don’t assume that your boss will approach you, but make the decisive move yourself. However, don’t make this move at the Christmas party or a company outing. Also, a recent lost contract negotiation with one of your clients or following an unsuccessful project is not the optimal time to ask for a raise or higher pay.

2. Poor preparation

Prepare plausible arguments before the interview. Why do you deserve the raise? You should be able to explain your recent accomplishments and your contribution to the company’s success.

3. False arguments

As mentioned earlier, you should have performance and success-related details ready to justify your claims. Arguments such as the purchase of new furniture or a pet, on the other hand, are an absolute no-go. Of course, there are also private arguments that can justify your salary increase, such as the expectation of a child. However, these arguments should always be placed behind the performance-related facts.

4. Asking for too much money

With a completely inappropriate and not serious offer, you not only miss the chance for a higher salary, but also cast a bad light on yourself overall. This is even more true for applicants who are in contact with a potential employer. Stay within a realistic range, but expect to end up having to accept a compromise that is less than the salary increase you want. Therefore, it is helpful to plan for a small cushion and ask for something more in the first offer accordingly.

smiling asian woman in a green pullover

Frequently asked Questions about negotiate salary

What is a salary negotiation?

A pay negotiation is the negotiation of the amount of pay between an individual employee and an employer.

What are 5 tips to negotiate salary?

Tips for a successful negotiation:
1. Know your value.
2. Know your number.
3. Prepare a “brag” sheet.
4. Pick the top of the range.
5. Be willing to walk away.

Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary?

Yes, that’s why you should know exactly how to negotiate:
– Do your research before the interview.
– Do not disclose your current pay.
– Know what you are willing to accept.
– Consider the total package.
– Take time to think about it.