You probably feel pretty aware of how easy it is for an employer to find someone else who will take the job. But you are selling yourself short if you assume that is their attitude and you don’t even ask.
They key to remember to is they probably don’t want to hire just anyone. They are looking for they best they can get. So, do your research and ask. If you don’t ask, you already have your answer…its no!
There is also the matter of acting with respect throughout the negotiation process as you did through the hiring process. Don’t take it personal that they will try to hire at the most advantageous pay rate for them. Of course, you will work to help understand that they get what they pay for…this is your leverage.
Remember this too: the wage you accept will impact your attitude on the job. It will either be in a positive way or a negative way. The salary you accept now determines the raises you will get later because raises are based on percentages usually.
All that being said to help you see the importance of negotiating, here are some techniques you may want to consider.
It is important to buy time when a number is thrown out there. Pausing for just a few seconds when a number is mentioned can give the impression that they will have to come up on something so you can meet in the middle. It could be money, time, or perks that they come up with but something more. They say a number and you pause as you are considering your response. Sometimes those few seconds can make you thousands of dollars! If not now then certainly as you work for them years and each future raised is based on what you accept at the start.
You also buy time when negotiations are closing for the day. You sum up what they are offering and say, “I will sleep on it and speak with you tomorrow if that sounds okay with you.” Or you may sum it all up and say (as long as it is true), “I expect another offer to come in soon, when is the latest I can get back to you? Can I reply by Friday, does that sound acceptable?”
Sometimes you do have to say “no” to an offer if you feel they are just too low and it will affect your attitude and work ethic to accept. There is power in walking away if they refuse meet your needs and you feel you can get your needs met elsewhere.
One technique to use is to say something like this, “after careful consideration, I must decline your job offer. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and please do call if the budget changes.” That way you give them room to come up to your expectations if they are really pained to see you walk away.