3 worst salary negotiating techniques

by Corey Kupfer

There are two times in your career when negotiating a salary can be especially challenging; when you are considering whether to accept a promotion or when you receive an external job offer. Both times are cause for celebration and often a fair amount of stress. As an entrepreneur, attorney, and professional negotiator who has been negotiating almost daily for over 30 years, I encourage each of my clients to focus on Clarity, Detachment, and Equilibrium to produce a positive outcome.

When the opportunity arises to negotiate your compensation package, avoid these three pitfalls if you want to meet your objectives:

1. Talking too much.

Talking too much is a sign of nervous energy. Clarity of your purpose and exactly what is acceptable and unacceptable on each term of the negotiating deal will allow you to stay calm, which will allow you to listen. Next learn to be comfortable with silence. When you allow the other party to fill the silence, you can better gauge the offer. Sometimes, staying quiet after an offer is made can result in a larger salary if the negotiating party had a higher budget than initially offered.

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2. Letting ego take over.

Staying humble and present will help you present your most authentic self. Detachment from a specific outcome will allow you to truly listen to what the other party is offering. Good business relationships rely on positive and real interactions; if you allow ego and pride to take over during a negotiation, you may alienate the person across the table.

3. Being inflexible.

Rigidity can cause you to become blind to other available options beyond, for example, having your salary increased. Being inflexible may make you miss out on some great opportunities. If you are able to maintain your Equilibrium and not get reactively rigid, opportunities for creative solutions are more likely to arrive. Identify why do you want a raise and don’t stop at “I want more money.” Why do you want more money? “I have kids and I want to be able to pay for them to go to college.”

In the above scenario, you could ask if your employer has a scholarship fund they could contribute toward your kids’ education or maybe a company executive a connection with one that will. Some flexibility over the salary can provide a higher overall compensation package and help you meet your objectives.

Negotiating your salary can be less stressful if you rely on the clarity, detachment, and equilibrium and avoid talking too much, ego and rigidity.

To learn more about how to become a better negotiator, read my book Authentic Negotiating, and to assess whether you are an authentic negotiator, go to www.coreykupfer.com and take my Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz.