How To Negotiate A Higher Salary

Whether you are starting a new job, or (more likely) need more income to open another Pizza Hut franchise, being able to negotiate on your own behalf is critical. Asking your boss for more money is going to be an uncomfortable conversation, but no more awkward than the first time you accidentally went on a date with your cousin, or the first time you told your dentist you loved him. With proper preparation, your pay will pick up before you can part your mouth to  pout and hopefully before you realize you hate alliteration. 

  1. Start before you start.  Your negotiations begin long before you ever sit down at the table.
    1. When negotiating an offer at a new position, it’s easy to begin with a leg up.  Send an unmarked package to your future boss. When you arrive for the interview (tie-less) ask to borrow one. Before the interviewer can respond walk over to his/her desk, open the unmarked box, and take out a brand new, custom tailored, red and white striped piece of paper that says “I didn’t forget my tie.” Then take your tie out of your pocket, tie a perfect windsor, and accept the job.
    2. If you already have the job, don’t panic.  No need to be a good employee when psychology has shown that people have a memory bias for recent events. Pick a date for your negotiation and start showing up with donuts two weeks prior to the day. Don’t take a lunch break; instead, eat on the toilet so everyone thinks you are working through lunch. Your most recent impression must be your best so on the day of the meeting make sure to be early for work. Arrive no later than 4:00 AM and make sure to be sitting in your bosses office when they arrive.
  2. Demonstrate value.  Inexperienced negotiators will often make the mistake of rambling on about their successes and productivity at the company. They will note their track record and mention their infrequent use of sick days. Words, frankly, are just words. If you want to be properly compensated you need to demonstrate your value right there in that meeting. If you are a salesmen, pick up your bosses phone and make a sale. If you work in HR, fire someone and make sure they don’t kill anyone. If you are incredibly healthy, perform a full physical on yourself while your boss watches.  Actions are a much more powerful demonstration of your value than words.
  3. Be subtle.  While it is important to be your own spokesperson, you should also be able to use subtlety as a negotiation tactic. Maybe you hold your handshake a bit longer than usual. Maybe wear platform shoes and a butt cushion to appear taller. Maybe when you set down your briefcase, a picture of your bosses house at night (shot with a telephoto night vision lens) spills out onto the desk momentarily. A subtle hint can often seal the deal.
  4. Be willing to walk.  A successful negotiation will be difficult without leverage, and your leverage is a willingness to throw it all away. Let your boss know you are willing to walk by starting the negotiations with “Just so you know, I am a willing to a waaaalk.” If at any point you sense your power slipping away, or if your boss balks at a 150% raise, slowly stand up and begin your new life.
Cow Tips!
*DO NOT write “your number” on a slip of paper if asked. Instead write “Jay-Z Money.”
*If you were forced to play the walk card at your current job, follow these steps for a more successful negotiation at your new place of employment.
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