Seven Behaviors of Savvy Negotiators

Savvy salary negotiators tend to display seven key behaviors that contribute to success:

  1. Approach the job search as a process of finding a job that is a perfect "fit" for their motivational pattern - one they do well and enjoy doing.
    While compensation is important, it is not the primary motivator for savvy salary negotiators. Many things may turn them on, but pursuing a passion is the primary motivator.

    They clearly communicate their passion and competence to employers who, in turn, recognize their value and compensate them accordingly.

  2. Conduct research on salary options and salary comparables.
    Savvy salary negotiators know their market value because they conduct salary research by using the Internet and libraries and by interviewing informed individuals.

  3. Focus on the requirements of the job and the needs of the employer.
    Savvy salary negotiators are employer-centered rather than self-centered. They talk the language of employers which focuses on their bottom line - accomplishments, benefits, and performance.

  4. Ask lots of questions about the company, employer, and position as well as listen carefully.
    Savvy salary negotiators view the interview as an exchange of information between the candidate and the employer. They understand that both parties need to determine whether or not this will be a good "fit."

    Asking questions and listening carefully to the interviewer are the major communication techniques they use for acquiring critical information about the company, employer, and position.

  5. Emphasize their value throughout the interview.
    Savvy salary negotiators focus on their accomplishments throughout each and every interview.

    They emphasize through examples, statistics, and short anecdotes that they have a clear record of accomplishments related to their motivational pattern or passion. They also send thank you letters which emphasize their social graces and likability.

  6. Use timing and silence to their advantage.
    Savvy salary negotiators talk seriously about money only after receiving an offer.

    Knowing the importance of acquiring information about the job and stressing their value throughout the interview, they avoid prematurely discussing compensation. When offered the job and negotiating the salary figure, they know silence is golden by using the "30-second pause" to their advantage.

  7. Focus on the total compensation package rather than just the gross salary figure.
    Savvy salary negotiators know there is much more to compensation than just a salary figure.

    They learn to talk intelligently about compensation options, including a variety of benefits, stock options, and equity incentives. They are prepared to offer creative win-win compensation options.

Taken together, these behaviors should result in negotiating a compensation package that truly reflects your value as well as cements a positive relationship with your new employer.

SOURCE: Adapted from Military Transition to Civilian Success (Impact Publications) pages 392-393. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.