Getting Paid: A Practical Guide to Getting My Money Part 2

Dollar Sign

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

The Ultimate Sales Professional! Is it You?

I guess you could say that I have “Drank the Kool-Aid”  On this one!  There are just certain skills, attributes, and attitudes that you can have or develop that will put you in the leagues with the best.  Read today and Tuesday, 3/28, to get the rest of the scoop.  There is much to think about here.


Since late November of 2010, we have described many of the traits that a true successful professional would have.  We have outlined the activities and processes that would, over time, make a verifiable difference in this individual’s ability to reach goals, and provide customer satisfaction.

We have discussed personality attributes and skills that make a difference over the last several posts.  Once again it is time to talk about how a sales professional puts these all together and finds success.

Over the next three posts we will revisit these important posts and put these together in an effort to portray that individual who is sought by sales managers and customers alike.

This professional has learned the benefits of mastering relationships, both internal and external, to get the maximum leverage from each personal encounter.  This professional knows the different methods of getting exposure, and how to capitalize on it.  This individual is always prepared.

There will be some references to previous issues of Black Sales Journal, as I want to keep this as concise as possible, yet capitalize on the wealth of information that has been published to date.

Deep Enduring Relationships

There is no area more important in the long run than knowing how to ‘master the relationship’.  It does not matter what your level of intelligence is if you cannot decipher how to ‘work’ your personal relationships to your advantage, and your customers benefit, you will not have maximum effectiveness.

There is an ‘art to the relationship’ that is undeniable.  It cannot be substituted by process, intelligence, or hard work.  You see, the ‘art of the relationship’ is not an inherited trait.  It is something that you hone with every interface.  It can be aided by having a gregarious and engaging personality.

The successful Black sales professional has the ability to form deep and enduring customer relationships (Black Sales Journal 1/13, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships and Black Sales Journal 1/20, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships II).  This individual works with the assurance that existing relationships are strong enough to receive ‘preference’ as compared to ‘wanna-be’ sales professionals look to unseat him or her.  In other words, the customer prefers to do business with someone like this professional, and that preference ‘spoils’ the customer.  This is a powerful preference that is enduring, and anchors the relationship.  We all want to work with someone that provides value, and is concerned about our business, and produces results for us.

This ‘preference’ exists not only because of the solid personal and business connection that exists, but also because the professional is effective in providing the customer something of value.  Always strive to always be effective and always show value.

Undying Professionalism

Being effective is a good start, yet by itself it is not enough.  The consummate professional is more than just effective; he or she does those things that exude success.  We talked about this in Black Sales Journal 3/7, Be the Consummate Professional. This individual is:

  • Punctual
  • Empathetic
  • Attentive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Organized
  • Responsive
  • Visionary

Most of these are self explanatory, yet I want to spend a minute on a couple of them:

Responsiveness is ever important.  As stated in Black Sales Journal, Responsiveness – the Objective of the Sales Professional 6/16/2011, responsiveness is in the eyes of the customer.  It is defined by the customers expectations, and includes such important items as:

  • Answers the phone and returns calls promptly
  • Keeps commitments
  • Provides answers to inquiries and questions as soon as possible
  • Stays in touch – communicates
  • Provides requested information promptly

Knowledge will always set you apart.  This knowledge could get you labeled an expert.  This ‘designation’ comes from those people and businesses that have benefited from your knowledge, and make the claim in your behalf.  See a most interesting set of articles in Black Sales Journal 12/20, Your Customer Needs an Expert and Black Sales Journal 6/27, More on Being an Expert – An Edge for the Black Sales Professional.  Expert power is attractive to a customer.

Empathy provides a connection and a serum that convinces the customer you are real.  If you have no empathy for the customer, then why are you calling on them?  How are you going to solve their problem if you don’t have that connection?  Put yourself in you customer’s shoes.  Live their problems and your solutions will come about easier.  Always keep in mind that a customer can tell when you have no empathy as easily as you can tell when a love interest of yours is not interested.

Now for the point that pulls this together:  If you condition yourself to be accomplished at all of these different items, you will havecredibility. Enormous credibility is the product of having deep enduring relationships and being a consummate sales professional.

More to Come….

Armed with what is above you would think that success would be much more probable.  You probably are correct, although what are missing are the activities, habits, and processes that make the person formidable even if some of the personality issues are missing.

We will cover them in the next two information-filled posts.  These are powerful for the Black sales professional.  These items are hard to put together, and even more difficult to master, yet when you do, you have an enormous amount of power and potential.

Next up:  Black Sales Journal 3/28– The Ultimate Sales Professional Pt. II –Sales Professional in Action

We hope you will read it.  If you have comment, write me at