The Negotiation DanceMonster Interview Coach
One step forward; one step back; step together, and back again.
To perform the negotiation dance, you must have a good sense of
balance. Knowing your value will help you feel more confident about
staying in step during the negotiation process. The employer takes the
lead and you follow, staying with the rhythm. You move together through
the process, taking care not to step on each other. The dance is never
confrontational or harsh, but smooth and in harmony.
Often, the first step takes place on the phone. The interviewer asks
for your salary requirement or the salary you're currently making.
First the Music Starts
Begin with the realization that this is your opportunity to maximise
your compensation. Now is not the time to sell yourself short or leave
items on the table. Instead, focus on what you feel you need and ought
to have, and then negotiate for it. Many employers will provide their
most valuable executives generous packages of stock options,
profit-sharing bonuses, generous severance packages, along with
non-financial compensation like paid sabbaticals.
Postponing the salary discussion is the best step for you, at least
until you have the information needed. By doing research ahead of time,
you will feel confident knowing your worth. There is a point when the
range, or your expectations, will be revealed, but it is better to wait
for the interviewer to lead and give out the information first.
If the employer determines that you are right for the job, he will
take the lead and make an offer. It is now your turn to move the dance
to the next stage. But first you must evaluate the package. The
following must be taken into consideration:
* Base rate: Always the top priority.
* Alternative compensation: Bonuses, commissions, stock options,
profit sharing, etc.
* Benefits: Premiums for insurance, paid time off, matching
401k, working conditions, etc.
* Other perks: Car, education reimbursement, training, laptop
computer and the like.
Let the Dance Begin
You call the hiring manager and say how delighted you are to receive
the offer, but you have some questions and concerns. Scripting your
dialog ahead of time will give you confidence to be succinct regarding
what you want.
"Based on my eight years' experience in this industry, my MBA
degree, and my proven ability to raise funds and build teams, I feel the
base rate offered is low. Is there any flexibility here?" you ask.
Hold your position and count to 10. Silence is a strong tool in
negotiations. The hiring manager waits through the silence and then
promises to get back to you. He is in sync with your movements. You've
presented your case well.
The Final Steps
Whether you are negotiating for more money or some other perks, the
rules remain the same. Let the employer lead, and maintain your own
sense of balance. By preparing and researching ahead of time, you can
feel more empowered in this process, as a partner in a dance, moving
with the flow. The rhythm of the negotiation should be smooth, moving
toward the final step: acceptance and agreement.