How To Navigate 8 Tricky Salary Situations
Again, succeeding here is about coming from a place of positivity, specifically excitement and gratitude. From there, introduce the tension. “You can do this by using language such as, ‘We’re further apart on salary than I had wanted, but I think we can get into the same ballpark,’ or ‘This offer looks great, except the salary piece isn’t quite where my expectations were,’” says Lewis. The key is to make your negotiating partner sit up a little straighter without being outright aggressive.

Next, use facts and data to make the case for why you deserve more. “You can talk about years of experience, how well you fit what they’re looking for, either knowledge of the sector or industry or coming in as an outsider with a fresh perspective, and management experience,” says Lewis. All of this provides ammunition to take up the ladder to the person who actually makes the call on budget. Close out your speech by reiterating your excitement.

If, at this point, you hear what sounds like a no, stay calm. Keep the conversation going, and be empathetic. Say, “I completely understand that this was a really compelling, competitive offer that you put together, and I appreciate what you’ve done for me so far in this process. I know how important it is for you to fill this role with somebody great, and I would love to be that person if we can make this a win-win for everyone. I know this is a great company and that you really value getting the right people into the organization. I feel honored and excited to be in consideration to be that person.”

Once you’ve done all you can, it’s reasonable to expect between $5K and $15K more, says Lewis.