[Class 5] Salary Negotiation Fast Class

Negotiation phrases that pay

Welcome to class 5 of the Salary Negotiation Fast Class, where you’ll learn the skills you need to get paid what you’re worth in just 7 days.

So now that you have the right mindset, have wowed your interviewer with your portfolio, and displayed your salary research. What do you actually say?

Each negotiation is different, but here are some phrases I find myself using over and over again when working with clients. Actually, let’s look first at what NOT to say.

Phrases to avoid

  • “Or else.” To start things off, you should never demand a raise, threaten to leave, or make an ultimatum. Few successful negotiations in the workplace have ended with an employee yelling, “I need you to pay me more money or else!”
  • “The problem is…” I try to avoid negative words and phrases such as this, which might put your boss on the defensive. Problem? What problems? Maybe it goes back to my first job in technical support when we were instructed never to say “bug,” but rather, “known issue.” A better phrase might be “In my current role, some of the challenges we’re facing are…”
  • “I know you probably don’t have room in the budget, but…” Stay away from self-defeating language. You’re setting the stage for a ‘no’ before you even begin.
  • “Sounds great to me!” (to the first offer). This one is easy. You’ll rarely want to accept the very first offer that is made, since companies almost always leave room for negotiation. Additionally, I advise to never immediately accept a position on the spot. Ask to think about it for a day or two.

Phrases to use

  • “According to my research…” This is a phrase that I use quiet often. Not only does it show that you’ve done your homework, but it positions you so that you’re asking to get paid for the job itself, not a personal number that you came up with.
  • “Based on the market value for my skills and experience…” Once again, you’re judging your salary on the market value, not just what you want to make.
  • “I’m looking for something in the middle to upper end of that range.” This one is a phrase I most commonly use in conjunction with the salary negotiation document, pointing your boss or HR toward a number higher than they’ve offered.
  • “Do you have any flexibility with that number?” This is a real simple phrase that can be used if your inclination is to accept on the spot.
  • “How can we find a creative way to get to that number?” This is useful when you come to a stalemate on salary. It opens up the opportunity think about creative ways to make up the difference… a signing bonus, stock options, additional training, relocation funds, etc.
  • “Thank you so much for this opportunity.” This can also be used instead of saying “yes.” It’s a great phrase to start a counter-offer conversation, or to end the conversation before thinking about it. Always be grateful.
  • “[Silence]” Finally, the best phrase to say is nothing at all. Using silence is a great negotiation tactic once you master it.

To see some of these phrases in action, view this interview I did with Kendra from Chicago, who essentially hits every negotiation tactic along the way:

Class 5 Summary

In short, there are so many phrases that we can’t cover them all. And in general, don’t worry about saying the perfect phrase… just the fact that you are asking for a raise or making a counter-offer puts you ahead of most people.

Coming up tomorrow: A negotiation showdown!

Fast Class Agenda:

[Class 1] Earning more starts with a negotiation mindset
[Class 2] How much am I worth?
[Class 3] To earn more money, bring these documents to your interview (Hint: it’s not your resume)
[Class 4] What to say when asked for your salary requirements
[Class 5] Negotiation phrases that pay
[Class 6] Will you back down first in this negotiation showdown?
[Class 7] The Aha moment of Salary Negotiation Success