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4 Combat-Tested Attorney Tactics For Negotiating Salary

4 Combat-Tested Attorney Tactics For Negotiating Salary

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You submitted a great resume that got you an interview, and now you’re preparing yourself for all sorts of “weird” HR and recruiter questions. But are you preparing the right way for negotiating your future salary?

Many candidates are quite well prepared for the HR classics. For example,“What are your three key strengths and weaknesses” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But what about the big salary question? How are you making sure you don’t settle for $60,000 annually if the company had been willing to pay you $70,000 annually?

If you look at this question over a period of 10 years, we are looking at $100,000 of potentially lost income. So, salary negotiation is certainly a point you don’t want to neglect in your career planning and development. Now, who is better at negotiating deals than anyone else? No, not the guys from the Pawn Stars show (I think those guys could actually make more money if they were better negotiators). The right answer is: attorneys!

Combat-Tested Attorney Tactics For Negotiating Salary

So, what special tactics do attorneys apply? Here are some tried and tested attorney tactics for negotiating salary:

1. The Right Timing

Good attorneys know that one crucial aspect of successful negotiation is the right timing. But what does that mean for the interview situation? The right timing is right after the employer is done with all their interview questions, and you have showed interest in the company by raising your own questions. At this time, most candidates have a pretty good feeling if they would like to receive an offer from this employer or not. However, don’t bring up the topic prematurely. You want the employer “to want you” before you start talking money.

2. Don’t Get Tied To A Particular Number

Attorneys like to stay flexible during a negotiation process. This gives them the necessary leverage, which allows them to bargain, plead and withdraw from certain points. But how do you do this in the interview room? First of all, do not bring up a specific, fixed amount up by saying “I need to make 75,000 annually.” If the employer budget only permits $70,000 annually they might actually let you walk away. If you have other options that might be fine, but if this is your only interview on the horizon you might not want this to happen.

Try something like this: I would like to make between $68,000 and $78,000 annually, depending on the precise employment conditions. This way, the potential employer could throw other perks into the hat, for example, a company car or they might consent to home office every Friday (which might save you a huge amount of stress and commuting costs).

3. Always Return The Ball Into Their Half Of The Court

It can sometimes be a bit of a dance regarding who will say a particular number first. Court rooms sometimes turn really quite for a while after a judge suggests a settlement and wants to hear a number from either party. No one in the courtroom is keen on saying the first number – not even the judge. But what do you do? Either, state a broad range as discussed above, or return the ball back into the half of the employer by saying something like “I am really interested in a fair and enticing salary considering the added value I can bring to your team. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on this with me?”

4. Outlook

These points provide only a fraction of successful salary negotiation tactics, and every negotiation can turn into a different direction. The most important point is: be prepared to negotiate like a pro!

If you like to learn more about salary negotiation or career development in general, contact me via my website: www.windhof-communications.com . I would be glad to help!


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Tim Windhof Tim Windhof is an experienced Career Strategist, who loves helping people to take their careers to the next level. Tim is a certified resume writer (CPRW), Career Coach and certified Human Resources Professional. He operates his company, Windhof Communications LLC, out of the Greater Columbus Area in central Ohio.