The Art of Effective Negotiating

Nobody is born knowing how to be an effective negotiator – it is a learned skill that is honed and developed with experience. However, what often gets in the way of taking a win/win position in negotiations is the fear of rejection or potential conflict.

Everyone can learn to negotiate effectively for what they want and need.

How one handles money issues is very important in getting the best possible offer and even getting an offer at all. Above all, it’s important to remember:

You wouldn’t be receiving the offer in the first place if you weren’t the person selected as the best candidate for the job.

This gives you leverage. Most employers invest a great deal of time and energy in the interviewing process. They are very reluctant to “settle for second best” when their number one candidate attempts, in good faith, to negotiate for more money. 

What follows from the above statement is the serious job seeker should never disregard job openings only because of perceived salary shortcomings.

In many cases, those who take the initiative and interview for positions “beneath them” can build a great deal of value in their candidacy, discuss additional responsibilities for the position, and negotiate up to an excellent compensation package.

This leaves a great deal of room for you to take seemingly limited opportunities and work with the employer to create a job much more suited to your experience and salary expectations.

Keep in mind a few other key points when considering your offer situation:

  • Surveys suggest that 85-90% of hiring managers do not make their best offer first.
  • The professional standard for counteroffers is generally 5-15% above the original offer.
  • In most situations, it is appropriate to request up to a week to make your decision.
  • You always will want to review the offer in writing to ensure no surprises. 

In the end, each job offer situation is unique. The final strategy will depend on your leverage, your job search’s overall progress, and your comfort level with negotiating.