The Rules of Salary Negotiating

Salary NegotiatingJust because you’ve negotiated with business partners, vendors, and employees doesn’t mean you’ll be any good negotiating your own compensation. Representing yourself is a whole different type of negotiation, and it’s not something you’ve done all day for the last 20 years.

We’ve got an expert on compensation negotiations in our community, and he spelled it out for us in an episode of ExecuNet Master Class – the latest version of one of our all-time most popular Classes.

In his presentation, Ford Myers – an award-winning executive career coach – offered his “rules of the salary negotiation game.” I have listed them here for your quick reference, but you’ll want to hear Ford explain them in the excerpt from the Class that follows the list.

1. Do extensive salary research, preparation, and practice beforehand.

2. Defer salary discussions until an offer seems imminent.

3. Discuss salary only with the ultimate decision-maker.

4. Get the employer to state a salary figure or range first.

5. Wait until an offer is extended before negotiating.

6. Discuss salary only after you have fully described your relevant accomplishments.

7. Know your strategy before attending the negotiation meeting.

8. Always negotiate the offer, no matter how good it seems initially.

9. Finalize the salary first, before negotiating other items such as benefits.


Listen to Negotiating Your Compensation: The Rules of the Game to hear Ford Myers talk about how you can dramatically improve your negotiations and command much higher compensation.

10. Never misrepresent your former salary.

11. Don’t confuse salary with the full compensation package.

12. Avoid tying your potential salary to your old salary.

13. Use silence as one of your most powerful negotiating tools.

14. “Fit” is more important than financial compensation.

15. Leverage one offer against other offers if possible.

16. Be patient and disciplined throughout the process.

17. You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.

18. Never accept or reject an offer on the spot – do a thorough analysis.

19. You can only win at negotiation if you’re willing to walk away.

20. Be sure the compensation package you finally accept is a “win-win.”

21. Maintain a positive, upbeat attitude and enjoy the “game!”

Ford stressed that these rules are for negotiations with employers not with recruiters.

ExecuNet Master Class transforms the world’s community of the brightest minds — A-list CEOs, top B-school professors, trusted career and business advisers, and renowned wellbeing experts — into your personal network of instructors who teach you how to find and do great work, lead and be at your level-best.

William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

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