“The goal isn’t making more money. The goal is living life on your own terms.”
Objective: Prepare to negotiate for a salary based on market data and your value.
The most reliable way to increase your salary is to frequently change companies, so it is important to leverage your salary negotiations well.
You only have one chance to negotiate a salary when you are getting a job, so make it count! Negotiating for an extra $1,000 – $10,000+ can make a huge difference in your salary trajectory over time. There is typically room for negotiation, so never assume that the salary range they are asking for that position is set in stone. If you can prove your value enough, you might be able to ask for more. There is much information available on how to negotiate a salary, but the most comprehensive information I have found comes fromPayScaleRead up on our article here as well: Why You Should ALWAYS Negotiate for a Raise (and 8 ways to get one)
Most Important: Come to your salary negotiations with data and research to back up your request.
- Negotiate your salary based on your value even if it seems high. Use sites like PayScale.com or Salary.com to figure out the going pay for the position you are negotiating for based on location. Use this data to back up what you are asking. This is where you will have to really sell your values if your number comes in higher than theirs.
- Never ask in an interview what is the pay rate for that position. If the job is offered, then you can start the negotiations.
- Research salary data to figure out the low, mid and high range for your position. Research online (salary.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com), intercompany (companies within your industry), and intracompany (your peers-if feasible) to figure out the pay scale range for the position at which you are applying.
- Determine if you have any leveraging opportunities to justify maximum pay. Do you have any additional training, education, certifications, experience, productivity, awards, etc. that would justify a higher pay?
- Try not to give your salary requirements but instead ask for the pay range for the position. If you are asked, state something like the following, “I don’t give out that information, but based on my research, I am confident that salary will not be an issue.” And then quickly move on by saying something more strategic like, “What are your 30, 90, and annual goals or expectations for this position?
- Remember that you can always negotiate for other perks that are important to your lifestyle if the pay does not meet what you had hoped.
- Take time for the negotiations process. When offered the position with the salary, thank them profusely for the offer and that you are looking forward to working with them, tell them that you would like to take a day or so to look over the offer for this is an important commitment for both sides, and state if you are weighing other offers at the time (which is generally always perceived as a positive), ask them, “What is the salary range for this position?”.
- Always negotiate at least 10K up if you can show extra value and experience. Experience has shown us that if you negotiate up at least 10k, that is typically a good starting place, especially if you can show extra value and experience. If they come back with a lower offer but do not protest the limits for the position, consider meeting in the middle between what they are offering and where you started. Somewhere in there is your top range, but you need to negotiate for it. Show them your results.
- Communication is key. Negotiate over the phone or in person and rarely over email for it can get into an uncomfortable numbers game.
- Consider utilizing our coaches to practice your negotiations for it will pay off tenfold if you learn to navigate through this well.
- If you purchased Big Interview for your interviewing process, you can also utilize it for salary negotiation. There are some great nuggets of helpful advice and practicing tips.
When working with your clients, value-based versus hourly rate pricing can often be the way to go. If you can bid based on the project and the value that you bring in the way of key performance indicators, you will most likely come out ahead. If you think ahead about how your clients want to generate revenue, solve problems, etc. and you can translate that into a financial gain, then you can charge for creating a solution instead of just completing a project they have asked you to do. Additionally, if you keep track of the project with periodic (weekly/bi-weekly reports or your progress), your clients will appreciate your efforts. This will also gain you credibility and trust for your clients.
This is a topic where we can go into great detail with, but there are two good sources to utilize here:
- Klipfolio’s: “KPI Examples”Image by Kipfolio’s site
- Brennan Dunn’s Double Your Freelancing and specifically this page from his site: “Price Your Services Based On The Value You Provide Your Clients”. The info below comes specifically from this page:
- Figure out the key performance indicators, or KPIs, that matter most to your clients. Often this relates to revenue. Examples include e-commerce conversion rates, lead form submissions, or trial signups.
- Come up with some realistic KPI projections based on a successful completion of the project on the table. If you can put together a smart marketing and goal tracking strategy that could provide a lift in website conversions, what might that be worth to the client?
- Propose an engagement, and anchor the estimated time multiplied by your hourly/daily/weekly rate by that potential upside. This makes you less likely to be reduced to a commodity — “Why should I pay you $200 an hour when this other developer only wants $20 an hour?