The job sounds perfect, until you hear what they want to pay you. A job offer doesn't necessarily need a yes or no answer right away. If the role and responsibility are what you want but the salary isn't, you may be able to negotiate to get an offer you can say “yes” to. Use these six tips to help get you what you need to say “yes”.
1. Know what you want. It's difficult to get to a place of “yes” when you're not sure what that means. Before the interview, do research to know what market rate salaries and benefits are for the position you want. Not only does this insure that the number you ask for is realistic, you can point to the data to back you up in your discussions with the business.
2. Don't be the first one to bring up money. Sometimes you have more wiggle room than the company does. They may have a firm budget, while you have an aspirational salary goal but flexibility to take less for the right opportunity. If the company asks what you expect, and your goal number is outside their budget, you may never find out they could have paid a salary within your flexible range.
3. Negotiate better benefits. Not all monetary compensation comes in your paycheck. Vacations and paid time-off have implicit dollar values, too. Particularly at smaller companies, you may be able to negotiate some extra days off in place of a larger number each payday.
4. Negotiate a better title. Sometimes if the company can't give you a bigger check, you may want to negotiate for a better title. At some firms, this can put you into another salary band and potentially improve your future salary, even if they can't budge on the initial one. The better title will look more impressive on your resume and can help when you look for your next job, too.
5. Stay pleasant. Always negotiate calmly and politely. Remember, if your negotiation succeeds, you'll be working with these people. You want them to be happy when you show up to start your new job.
6. Practice. It's likely the person across the desk from you has negotiated salaries more often than you have. Whether you're negotiating in person or via e-mail, get input from a coach who can help you prepare and guide you through the negotiating process.