I think you deserve to get paid! Read this post, as well as the post at the bottom of the page to find out how. Don’t get a new job and be regretful about the major reason that you are there….your money!
On the last edition of Black Sales Journal we discussed “knowing the landscape” as you prepare to negotiate your salary for a new job (that post is at the bottom of this page). The objective was to have all of the homework done so that a target can be achieved, and there is likelihood of success.
In this edition of Black Sales Journal, we will spend a little time dealing with the actual negotiations themselves. This includes receiving and responding to an offer(s). This is far from a science, and is probably best classified as an art. The art of how to get what you need in a dignified manner, while maintaining the deportment necessary to keep respect.
Remember, if you are sales professional, it is not unlikely that your prospective employer expects you to do some negotiation. They won’t be offended by it, yet it should be done correctly.
The Golden Rule – The One With the Most Options has the Most Power!
Power is important in negotiations. It does not need to be displayed; yet it defines the activities that either side employs. Knowledge is important as well. That is why we spent time last week on being firmly aware of “the landscape”. You would feel totally different about your current or past salary numbers if you knew what all of your colleagues were being paid. You might be satisfied, happy, or dismayed, but probably would feel totally different.
Options are important. When I mention options, I speak of viable alternatives to an action. If you have five job offers, and all are in the field you want and have robust salary offers, you have an amazing number of options. No matter what you ask for from any one of these potential employers, you can be steadfast in getting a good deal. You have five viable options, and you have “the juice” (power).
However, if your prospective employer has 5 candidates, and although they are not identical (of course they could not be), they each are strong and would make solid sales professionals. The prospective employer, in this case, has the power. They have options and will use their “superior” position to their advantage.
There is nothing nefarious about any of this; it is the use of options resulting in the position of power in a negotiating relationship.
Power for the Black Sales Professional
This is a sensitive subject, yet relevant. As a Black sales professional can you transform what has historically been to a disadvantage to an advantage? Can you take advantage of the relatively low number of proven Black sales professionals in your quest for this next job? The answer is solid “maybe.”
Most larger operations are looking for accomplished Black sales professionals. The numbers are just not that large, and accomplished Black Sales professionals are still a small subset of all accomplished sales professionals. You won’t know enough about the organization, or the candidates you compete against to be able to use any gambits to enhance your positioning. I suggest that if you are the best candidate in the competition, and negotiate well, then you have done all you can do to get the job.
Remember, as I have mentioned in Black Sales Journal on several instances, you are being made an offer by an individual, not a corporation. Realize the importance of that statement. Someone (the hiring manager) will make the decision, with the guidance of Human Resources and company guidelines as to what the range is. You are trying to get the most out of that salary range from the negotiating manager.
Some Useful Techniques
These are simple, and can be remembered. Always try to negotiate salary by itself, apart from all other work benefits. It may not be possible, yet it is advisable. The natural progression of the process is as follows:
Step 1. Evaluate the offer
Step 2. Give a suitable response (note below)
Step 3. Deliver a counter offer or receive a counter offer
Step 4. Make a decision
Here are some things that remember.
- Always remember what you stated as your salary expectation in your application process. It can come back to haunt you.
- Know the landscape before the application process. Use the tools and your intuition before giving a salary expectation.
- Give your salary expectation, as well as your discussions in the form of a range and use the term “…depending on the accompanying conditions and benefits.” This allows you some flexibility. Example: “I would expect between $60,000 and $75,000 depending on the nature of the bonus plan.” The bonus plan represents a variable, and you don’t know enough about it, for the most part to be concrete. This gives you the flexibility.
- Know the number you want! Use your tools and experience to have that number. Have a solid idea, but stay flexible.
- When the offer is made, always advise you will get back to them and mull it over. This is an important decision.
As you evaluate the offer, and it comes up well short of your number, your response should be respectfully done. I suggest: “I was hoping for a stronger salary number.” Or you could say, “This is a wonderful opportunity, yet the salary number is disappointing.” Now, here is where having options is important. But, if you have no options, you should still say it. If they don’t give up any of their negotiating room, you can still say, “I will take the job!” Their answer would likely be either:
- We will take a look at it.
- This is the best we can do!
- What are you thinking about? Be realistic in your expectation.
One way or another, their objective will be to keep salary parity with other sales professionals. If they started low, estimating that you will “come back”, you will get their final offer. If they won’t negotiate, and it is a good offer, then you should accept.
Negotiating the “Other” Things
These items are easier, and more palpable. Know what you want and ask early. Get them to thinking about your needs. If you will lose a car from you other job, they should know coming in that you are expecting a company vehicle, or an allowance. Human Resources can help you with some of these items early on. Ask them about the transportation and the benefit issues, and ask the hiring manager about other important work issues.
Remember, if you don’t have agreement before you say “yes”, you will have little chance of getting it in the end.
Also remember, your salary is not as important as your total compensation package. Believe in yourself!
We welcome your comments. Write me at Michael.Parker@BlackSalesJournal.com.