Words and Phrases to Use in Salary Negotiations

Filed in Salary Structure by on May 7, 2021

Words and Phrases: Unfortunately, in the real world, we have to work a lot harder to win people round to our way of thinking. However, the good news is there are certain words and phrases you can use when negotiating a higher salary that does have a lot of persuasive power.

If you can be confident, pleasant, and demonstrate your knowledge, you may well be able to talk your way to a higher salary. Here are some valuable phrases that will help you along. I will tell you how if you continue reading.

1. “I Am Looking Forward to Working Together.”

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking a salary negotiation is a bit of a battle – you vs. your employer – who will win? However, thinking in this way can be counterproductive.

Negotiation should be a collaborative process and the outcome should be something that both parties are happy with. Instead of making demands and ultimatums, you should start your negotiations on a positive note.

2. “Based on My Research…”

It’s only natural to see if you can get a higher salary than the one that you were offered, but it needs to be grounded in reality.

Rather than just throwing out a number that you think sounds nice, you need to do your homework on what your skills are worth to provide a compelling case for your employer to compensate you accordingly.

“One phrase to use is something along the lines of ‘based on my research.’  That shows the other person you’ve done your homework and know what you’re talking about when negotiating,” says David Bakke, Writer/Contributor at Money Crashers.

3. “Value”

Value, on the other hand, “refers to what you bring to your employer,” Granovsky says. “From an employer’s perspective, each employee has to either (1) increase revenue, or (2) increase margin (ideally both).

While probably not as compelling as the job market, if you can show to your employer how you are bringing ‘value’ to the company (in the form of increased revenue and/or increased margin), you can make a compelling case for a raise.”

So if, for example, you can prove that a new initiative you implemented earned the company $100,000, asking for a $5,000 raise sounds a lot more palatable to your employer.

4. “Market”

As part of your research, make sure you know what the market for your job is, says Labor & Employment Attorney Alex Granovsky of Granovsky & Sundaresh PLLC. “Market refers to what the employee can earn if he or she went out on the job market and found a new, similar position,” Granovsky says.

“If you are making $80,000, but could get a job around the corner making $100,000, the ‘market’ suggests that you are being underpaid.” And since companies presumably don’t want to lose you to the competition, they take that number seriously.

5. “Similarly Situated Employees”

Forget any advice you’ve received about not snooping into your coworkers’ salaries — it can be a powerful data point in negotiations.

“‘Similarly situated employees’ are people who do what you do within the company,” Granovsky says. “If your position is ‘senior account manager’ and every other ‘senior account manager’ is making more money than you, this is something you should explore too.”

While you certainly don’t want to force any of your colleagues to disclose information they’re not comfortable sharing, you can use tools online to find out what they’re making, and therefore, whether or not you’re being fairly compensated.

6. “Is That Number Flexible at All?”

If an employer offers a number that’s below your desired range, pushing back is essential — but you want to make sure you handle it with tact. Saying “is that number flexible at all” is a graceful way to “[give] the employer an opportunity to offer more or even mention other perks you might be able to gain if a higher salary isn’t in the picture,” Bakke says.

7. “I Would Be More Comfortable If…”

Blunt phrasing like “I need” or “I want” can be a turn-off to employers. But expressing your desired salary with this phrase “is a collaborative way to let the recruiter or hiring manager know specifically what you’re looking for so they can focus on that dimension of your job offer,” says Josh Doody, author of Fearless Salary Negotiation.

“The rest of this sentence should be a specific ask. For example, the rest of this sentence might be ‘…we can settle on a base salary of $60,000.’ or ‘…we can increase the Restricted Stock Unit allotment to 100 units.’ Contrast this with something like, ‘Do you have any wiggle room?’, which is vague and allows them to say ‘No’ and short-circuit the negotiation,” Doody continues.

8. “If You Can Do That, I’m On Board.”

We’ll let you in on a little secret — often, recruiters are just as anxious as you for salary negotiations to come to a close. So if you can specifically spell out what it would take for you to accept an offer, you’ll be doing recruiters and hiring managers a favor.

“When you get to this phase of the negotiation, you want to make it clear to the recruiter or hiring manager that saying ‘Yes’ will end the negotiation so they’re more comfortable acquiescing,” Doody says. For example, you may want to say, “I understand you can’t come up to $60,000. It would be great to add a week of paid vacation along with the $55,000 you suggested. If you can do that, I’m on board,” he suggests.

9. “I Would Prefer Not to Leave.”

This is a good one for employees who are negotiating raises to keep in their back pocket. Why? It comes down to the fact that its part of a defensible strategy, Cohen says.

“A defensible strategy explains what you want, why you want it, and how it is a win/win for both your boss and for you. The goal is to show value and benefit,” Cohen says.

If a low salary at work is truly a dealbreaker for you, “get an offer that you would be willing to accept but prefer not to,” Cohen advises.

“Tell your boss that you have received an offer, that it is attractive, [but] that you prefer not to leave… It is far cheaper to give you a raise than to recruit and train a new candidate.”

But be warned: this phrase should not be taken lightly. “Know that this is a risky proposition: It could backfire.  So please don’t use it if you don’t want to leave or don’t have a bona fide offer on the table,” Cohen cautions.

10. “Can I Take A Couple of Days to Consider Your Offer?”

Even if a job offer exceeds your expectations, try to play it cool. “The first thing you should do when you receive a job offer is asking for time to consider it,” Doody says.

“This little phrase accomplishes several things. Primarily, it buys you time to consider the offer, determine the appropriate counteroffer, and begin building your case to support your counteroffer. [But] it also enables you to move the negotiation to email if it’s not already there,” Doody says.

This, he says, is a key to successfully pulling off a counter-offer.

“You want to counter offer over email whenever possible because you can be very deliberate with exactly what you say. Your salary negotiation will be more successful if you carefully choose your counteroffer amount and clearly articulate why you’re worth it,” he explains.

11. “Thank You.”

Whichever way your negotiation is going, it’s good manners and good business to thank the person for their time. They are likely to be more accommodating if you are polite and professional.

“At the end of the salary discussion, be sure to thank the person for taking the time to sit down with you, just to maintain your professionalism,” Bakke says.

Not only is it simply the right thing to do an employer is much more likely to accommodate the wants and needs of somebody that shows them respect. Let’s have you share this article with your friends.

CSN Team.

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