The Negotiation Dance
Monster 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
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
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:
Let the Dance Begin
- Base rate: Always the top
- 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.
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.