Unhappy worker given a stack of files Did you negotiate the starting salary for your present job? The odds are that if you didn’t you are being underpaid, as a CareerBuilder survey shows that most employers shoot low with their initial offer and expect to negotiate during job offer discussions. Also, a study by George Mason University shows that those who do negotiate effectively manage to increase their salaries by an average of $5,000.

So, if do you make a habit of rolling over in the negotiation room and accepting the first offer put forward, it’s very likely you are being underpaid, (by around $5,000).

And if you do want to improve your salary negotiation strategy why not try out some or all of the salary negotiation strategies below?

1. Negotiate using concrete market data. Good salary negotiation doesn’t mean blurting out wildly high figures and hoping for a “yes.” The best negotiations are well informed; so, consult several reputable sources so you can produce concrete salary data to back up your initial salary demand, making it more credible.

2. Gather insider information. Try and found out what current staff in the prospective organization is being paid by discrete networking in relevant forums as you may find that this company actually pays higher than the market, meaning that you might want to push for a higher salary then the market suggests. Try and found out if the team is suffering any resourcing or staffing issues via discrete networking and you can exploit this weakness, as they may be prepared to pay a premium to get the right person.

3. Leave no stone unturned. Don’t just negotiate the cash. Have you ever joined a company with what you thought was a good salary only to find that the person who started next to you has the same salary but has also negotiated a great flexible working arrangement and various other incremental perks? Don’t overlook the other perks like vacation days, flexible working, and support with training costs as there may be plenty of options here for you to exploit and maximize.

4. Be nice. Research by George Mason University tells us that adopting a collaborative rather than an aggressive or threatening approach to salary negotiation results in the best outcomes in terms of satisfaction with the final salary agreement. So, as far as is possible, seek a win-win outcome.

5. Avoid using round numbers in your offer. Research by Columbia Business School shows that using precise numbers, such as (£$30,015) as opposed to a round number ($30,000), is a far more credible and therefore influential and persuasive way to present your offer. The research from the Columbia Business School found that people who made offers using a precise dollar amount were seen to be more informed and this meant that the offer recipients were prepared to compromise and conceded more.

So, if you have not been engaging in effective negotiations to date, it’s very likely that you are being underpaid now and that you need to adjust your negotiation strategy to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to you during salary negotiations.

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