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Salary Negotiation Tip: Stretch Their Budget

You’ve interviewed. Wowed them with the unique value only you can deliver. Now comes the fun part: talking about money!

But before you ever give your salary expectations to a hiring manager, you need to take into account the concept of how we all stretch our own budgets. Why? Because it’ll help you maximize your salary number.

When people get married or buy a home, one of the first things they do is make a budget. But we always seem to exceed that budget, don’t we?!  We convince ourselves that there’s enough value or that something is of such quality that it’s worth going over the budget for.

What’s funny is the same thing goes for a business manager in a hiring position.  They justify going over the budget to get the person they want all the time!  Whether it’s because you have niche skills others don’t have, or you simply handle one-on-one client relationships far better than any other applicant, they will find a way to pay you what you’re worth.  In short, it breaks down like this:

The Ideal Budget: everyone starts with a budget/range.

The Increased Budget: You convince them that you deliver value worthy of going over budget, or at least offering a higher rate of pay.

The Improved Budget: The hiring manager has a business reason why they are justified in going over budget to hire you.

Just remember, salary negotiations aren’t one-sided! Get what you’re worth.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Peggy says:

    So, I got the job – as a freelancer. If they want to extend my contract (at the one-year mark) do I have a right to ask for a salary increase? I know the pay range for freelancers, and I know thay my skills should put me at the top of that range. How can I position this request without appearing greedy?

  • David says:

    Hi Peggy – thanks for the comment! You can talk about rate adjustments at the end of the year to keep up with the market rate for your services. But there’s a lot to consider. Is the scope of the job changing? Are you selling yourself so cheap that next year’s increase would give them a heart attack? Setting expectations for continued service should be talked about now. There needs to be a good reason for a pay rate increase – not just because you feel that you are worth it. I would try and get as close to market rate as you can because it is always harder the second go around unless the scope of the project or task have changed.