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Aug 14, 2017

Have  you have ever hesitated or waited for something to happen, like recognition for your efforts or when a job offer comes through you accepted the terms because it was what you wanted and you didn’t ask for a bigger salary you may want to reconsider your actions next time.  Here is why being able to ask for what you want is so important.

Think about this startling statistic:  8 Years.

That is the amount of time it will take you to make up for the difference in salary you didn’t negotiate.  Depending on your salary level, and where you are in your career, it can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars and more importantly time lost to gain that salary back.

The book “Ask for it: How women can use the power of negotiation to ask for what they really want” by Linda Babcock and Sara Leschever, has a great road map to creating your negotiation blueprint.  And while this book focuses on women, everyone at some point has hesitated in a negotiation and it isn’t always gender specific.  Here are some actions from the book to help you negotiate.

9 Tips to Help You Ask For It and Get What You Want

  1. Decide what you want
    1. Lay the ground work: If it is a raise in salary or a promotion find out what the going rate is for your position, and look to others who have gone before you to achieve a similar raise. Places like Glassdoor and other resources provide salary ranges.
    2. One issue vs. several-Distributive negotiations vs. integrative. Example car vs. a house with many features.
    3. What factors will contribute to a decision-find out the other person’s perspective. For example a promotion-how will it affect other people?
  2. Have a Plan B: BATNA Best Alternative to a Negotiation
    1. Know your options, have a plan B and be prepared to offer an alternative if the first and best option is not something the opposite side is willing to do.
  3. What is your “Reservation Value”? This is the lowest you are willing to go, or the final thing you are willing to give up depending on what you are negotiating for.
  4. Salary Range: Find out what the range is for the contract so you can anticipate the hiring managers BATNA.
  5. Target Zone: What is your salary number? This should be better than your BATNA-as it is your aspiration of what you hope to achieve if anything is possible.
  6. Know Your Worth: Don’t sell yourself short. Do research and make sure your numbers are market value for the position.
  7. Use Your Network: For ideas on how to build your network check out episode 17.
  8. Pre-negotiate before negotiating: Go direct to the source. In salary negotiations, talk with your boss before you enter into an annual review for example and find out what is possible.  If you are negotiating a hotel room block, find out what is possible with your purchasing team or if you are doing the negotiating look to the hotel sales manager for insights on what they have done for companies similar to yours.
  9. Do your homework: Know how decisions are made regardless of what it is you are asking for-salary, vacation time, flex schedule, or even a room block as mentioned earlier.

Real Life Example: What is the risk of not asking?

There is an example in the book about a female surgeon who had worked at a hospital for 8 years without realizing the male surgeons played tennis for 5 months during the year every weekend.  She was a tennis player and it never occurred to her male colleagues or to herself to ask to play.  Once she asked to be part of the games, she discovered a lot was being discussed at those games that she had missed out. 

Take away:  Ask to be included in a discussion to gain insights you will need later when it comes time for your review or to present new ideas at your organization.

If this information is helpful but you want to know a little more, join our LinkedIn group and share best tips and advice with people just like you.  Have a question or idea for a show?  Reach out to me, I would be honored to connect with you!

Credits: Big Thanks to Christy Haussler and Team Podcast for editing this episode.

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