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The First Number in Salary Negotiations

When you’ve gotten to the point of the interview process when the job is yours (yay!), salary negotiations are next. So when they ask what you want to make, flip the question by asking the range they’re thinking.By doing this, you don’t hold them to one specific number, but you know what range you have to play within while negotiating.

As I tell my career coaching clients, when the hirer gives you a range, what you do is simply repeat the highest number, and then say nothing at all!  For example, if the range they give you is between $54,000 and $72,000, you repeat “$72,000” and then shut your trap.

Why say nothing?  There’s an old rule in the sales business that a lot of experienced veterans swear by: after you finish making your pitch, don’t say a word – because the first person in the room to speak loses.  The same thing goes for salary negotiations; the first person to throw out a number isn’t going to get the number they want!  They’ll break the silence eventually, at that point wanting to negotiate.

Now, just because you’ve said the high end of their range DOES NOT mean you just made your salary requirement bid. All you’ve done is let them know you’re confident you’re as good as anyone else applying for this job – without shooting yourself in the foot with either too high or too low of a salary bid.

For more salary negotiation tips, check out my book, From Desperation to Deal.