Salary Negotiation Strategies: How to Ask For, and Get More Money / Part I

I am always surprised when I am talking to an executive in the midst of an interview…and they share with me how they approached the money topic.

Here are two very common things I hear:

“They asked me how much I needed and I said at least $250k”

“I asked them what they had in mind for their salary package”

What most people don’t realize is that these two statements put ALL the power in the hands of the employer! So, to alleviate these negative events from happening and successfully negotiate the maximum salary package possible, here are several powerful tips:

Tip #1: Never give financial ultimatums before the actual offer is made

The first statement automatically puts the primary focus on the money.

While the value that the executive brings to the company (you know all those things the company should be getting more and more excited about?) takes a back seat!

So save your ultimatums for after the formal offer (more on this later).

Tip #2 Never be the first to bring up money

The second statement simply shows that the executive is willfully putting the money ahead of his or her value to the company – not exactly a motivator for the company, is it?

Tip #3 Focus on the value you bring to the table

The more they want you…the more they will pay to get you. Simple as that.

Remember the last big thing you really, really wanted? It’s funny how we can come up with the money for things we really want because we place its value at the top of our list. And even though people are not things, the emotions that get evoked in a job interview when a company really, really wants someone – are essentially the same.

So the object of your focus should be – what can I focus on that is going to make this company get really, really excited about hiring me? I guarantee you the answer to that is not going to be how much they are going to pay you..unless you have offered to work for free.

Tip #4 Give money ranges

When asked how much salary you need or how much you made in your previous position you can give a range. This does two things: it doesn’t allow the company to fix a salary point on you (i.e. 50k or 100k or 350k) that could very well be too high or too low or just a continual point of focus. You need that potential employer to be focused on how they can get you on board (because of all the great skills and abilities you bring to them – that is going to help them drive revenue, increase productivity or launch a new product, service etc…)

So you can say something like:

“For the last couple years my total compensation package has ranged between ___ and ___. The wider your range the better”

Then you can add:

“Since we are on the subject do you have a range in mind budgeted for the position?”

Tip #5 Don’t negotiate at the time the offer is made

When you are receiving your offer – no matter what the offer entails, keep a straight face! You can ask to have a day or two to go over the offer and get back to them which will give you time to formulate your thoughts. You really need this time to come down from the “WOO HOO I got an offer!” high.

If the offer is your dream offer you can accept it. If the offer is too low you can put a counter on the table.

Anyone can negotiate the best offer possible using these techniques that honor you and the value you can bring to your next career opportunity!

More on specific negotiating strategies in part II!

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.