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5 Tactics for Negotiating Salary Like a Boss

The Betts Team
July 23, 2015

Changing jobs means negotiating salary, or an opportunity to see what your market value is really worth.

At the end of most job interviews, you’ll typically be asked questions like, “What do you want to make?” or “What were you earning at your last role?” The way you answer these questions could affect your life for the next few years, so it’s important to come to the interview fully equipped for negotiating salary “like a boss!”

Before our clients partner with Betts, they often have stories about candidates freezing at salary questions, low-balling themselves, asking for way too much, or just not negotiating at all.

Keep reading for some basic salary negotiation tactics. And if you’re ready to make the jump and start looking for your next role, get in touch with us.

Here are 5 tactics for negotiating salary like a boss:

1. Be Open and Honest

Ask around to understand what the market rate is for the position you’re interviewing for. If your current salary is fair for the role you are interviewing for, then it’s certainly OK to make a lateral move. If you know you’re being underpaid, then make it clear what your salary expectations are. In this case, when you are being underpaid, you can expect between a 10-20% bump, depending on how well you interview.

Identify what is most important, cash up front or equity. If you are going to negotiate, identify where you are willing to flex and be up front early. That way you increase your likelihood of getting the right offer out of the gates.

2. Everything is Negotiable

A lot of companies in hyper growth mode are likely operating on a shoestring budget. When a higher base salary might not be possible, consider other things that are important to you. Would you like to work from home 1-2 days a week? Are you looking for equity? Do you have an awesome dog that you want to bring to work? Do you want more PTO? There are a lot of negotiable job aspects other than your base salary.

3. Do Your Homework on Industry-Average Salary

Go to every interview ready to negotiate salary. Visit websites like to find out what the average salary is for the position you’re applying for. If you’re working with a recruiter firm like Betts, make sure you’re comfortable with the salary numbers they’ll be countering with.

4. Offer to Create a 100-Day Plan

So you don’t have a ton of experience, and you can’t close them on offering you the job. One trick we’ve learned is to offer to put together a 100-day plan. A 100-day plan is a great tool for removing doubt about your abilities as well as demonstrating what you’ll be bringing to the table in your new role.

5. Never Be the First to Show Your Cards

This last tactic is more of a power play, but still helpful. Generally speaking, the first person to say a number in a negotiation loses. Just like in poker, you don’t want to show your cards until you have to. You don’t know what your prospective employer is thinking and maybe they have a much larger budget than you expected. Don’t sell yourself short and cut off your options for tactics 1 and 2 above.

Job interviews can be nerve-racking and stressful. It’s important to have your wits about you, and not sell yourself short. Using these five tactics will help you pump up your future paycheck.

If you’re on the job-hunt and want to speak with a recruiter about finding a new job and negotiating your next salary offer, click here to connect with a Betts recruiter today!