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  • Nigel Nolan

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary: 10 Scientific Tips for Success

There comes a time when you’re tired of waiting for your boss to recognize your achievements at work with a pay raise. Instead, you’re ready to ask for it yourself. Or perhaps you’re about to get a new job and would like to negotiate a higher starting salary.

Many people are scared or hesitant to ask for a raise or negotiate their salary – or, even worse, they go about it the wrong way because they have no experience or training in how to actually make it work.

First, it’s important to settle one point: salary negotiation does not make you greedy or make you look bad. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Studies show that people confident enough to ask for validation of their hard work and achievements actually appear more favourable in the eyes of employers.

However, the catch is that you need to know how to ask, as errors can backfire and actually set you back career-wise. So, what are some tricks that you can use to get that raise you’ve been waiting for?

Take a look at these 10 tips on how to negotiate salary that might seem to make little sense at first, but in reality, are proven to work.

1. Be Personal

Share something personal with your employer that humanizes you and makes you more trustworthy, instead of being just another face in the crowd.

If employers think of you as an actual person rather than simply an employee, they are more likely to empathize with your desire for a raise and grant you what you’re asking for.

Use Specific Numbers

An exact number such as $103,000, for example, instead of the more rounded $100,000, leads your boss to believe that you conducted research or otherwise thought this figure through rather than just coming up with it off the top of your head.

This makes your proposal more legitimate and thus more convincing.

Use a Price Range

You can be specific while also not limiting yourself to just one number.

Providing a range not only shows that you’re willing to negotiate, but also makes it more likely that you’ll get the salary you actually desire, if you provide figures that are both higher and lower.

Ask for Their Opinion

If you have a connection in the organization who may be able to influence your salary figure, ask them for advice.

This not only flatters the person (making them more likely to agree with what you ask), but can also give you an actual gauge of what you should be aiming for and what is the best approach to take.

Don’t Settle

It may go against our best judgment, but thinking of the negotiation as a “compromise” is not likely to land you the figure you desire.

Instead, thinking of it as a competition where you are trying to get something that your employer doesn’t want to give, will put you in the right mindset to achieve what you actually want.

Avoid Face-to-Face Interaction

Although we traditionally think that face-to-face negotiations are more personal and thus more likely to turn out in your favour, in reality they most often end up in a victory for the person who is already in power. That’s because, among other things, the person who has less power – you – is subconsciously holding back out of a fear of displeasing their employer.

Instead, try starting out negotiations over email if you are talking to someone who is higher ranked or in a more powerful position than you are.

Make Eye Contact

When you do move on to the face-to-face part of the negotiation, make sure to look your boss in the eye. It’s a sign of confidence that shows your employer you mean business, and also makes it harder for them to turn you down (while looking you directly in the eyes).

Bring Up Your Concerns at the Start

If you aren’t happy with an offer you have received, let your employer know this at the beginning – although in a mature and not overly disappointed way, of course.

That’s because you have the best chance of negotiating when you have all your issues / points on the table and can talk directly with your employer, instead of skating around some issues and bringing them up sometime in the future.

Be the Starter

Starting out with a first offer means that you get to control the numbers you are working with in your negotiation – not your employer.

As a result, setting a high first number (higher than what you are expecting to receive) sets a standard for the discussion that will ultimately result in a higher salary for you.

Provide Just a Few Reasons

You’ll want to explain why you think you deserve a salary increase, but without boring or overwhelming your employer.

Choose the best reasons and list them out clearly and briefly. Stick to less than two reasons per argument.

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