Those who thrive in every negotiation, especially when it comes to salary master the following, they also manage a powerful balancing act known as the Stockdale Paradox.
The Stockdale Paradox is the ability to;
Hold unwavering faith in your ability to prevail.
Accept the harsh facts of your current situation.
This applies so exquisitely to negotiation because every negotiation requires both of these to be held in equal measure, you must be able to face the reality of your situation and yet hold deep seated faith that you will be victorious.
In this article I cover 14 hot tips you must master in order to balance these two principles.
1. Purpose and value
Before you go into any salary negotiation you must understand and be able to communicate effectively how do you help achieve the purpose of the organisation. This is a value driver that increases with priorities, the higher up the priorities list the attributes you bring to the table, the more valuable you are to the company.
Rarely do people in interviews understand how and when to use humility in order to influence in salary negotiations. By demonstrating humility, you show respect, this is not to be confused with lacking confidence, humility is understanding that you are not the only option and that it’s a privilege to serve. When you get this right you’ll stand out from the crowd who can have an inflated sense of self and their future contribution, work ethic and results. When you the balance of quiet confidence and humility right, you’ll bring them in closer because you won’t put them off with your bravado, arrogance, ignorance and down right obvious rehearsed spiel that just sounds like every other candidate. You’ll then be able to influence the job role criteria and package.
3. Understand the reality
This relates squarely to the second element of the Stockdale Paradox, know where you stand. Research the company and industry standards for your position and experience level. Know your worth and be confident in your skills and experience.
Closed mouths don’t get fed. You must put yourself in the game and be prepared to negotiate and have a clear idea of what you want. If you want a position, title, package that seems like it would require you to grow in order to get it demonstrate the steps you are taking in order to attain that growth. Growth and the articulation of how you put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to grow can inspire hiring managers to root for you. They will go to bat for you because they see the fire inside of you, the never quitting approach and the initiative of a future star.
This is not the same as asking for a referral although it’s an excellent way to stand out and get to the top of the pile. Don’t forget to use your network in terms of the power of association, you came to play ball, you’re a heavy hitter, they need you on the team, don’t be afraid to name drop and demonstrate that you run in the same circles. Don’t also forget that this interview and negotiation is part of your story and therefore this is a connection for the future. You are adding to your network just by being in this negotiation.
Tie your ambition to helping the employer get what they want. Practice active listening and ask questions to understand the employer’s needs. Then demonstrate with tangible examples how your levels of ambition, motivation and skill can help them get what they want.
How do you help achieve this? Getting down to brass tracks if you can effectively communicate how you will make the company and how much, by when, you put yourself in a strong position to negotiate more effectively.
8. Unique differentiators
These are differentiators that you have that no one else has. Think awards, experiences, life circumstances, connections, achievements. The key is to understand how these position you for success in the role and give you means to influence the compensation package criteria.
9. Comparative differentiators
These are skills, connections, experiences that you and other candidates all have but critically, you do them better. You must be able to give clear examples.
10. Evidence, proof and guarantees
Anything that you can bring to the table that shows you can deliver on what you say you’ll do helps de-risk the situation for the employer. This can be formalized as trigger deals, e.g. when I bring in $1m in revenue, then X happens to my commission rate. It could be used as a tool to say, this is what I want, but if I don’t do X revenue in 6 months I’ll pay you back X. Evidence promotes confidence and confidence promotes strong offers.
11. Be so desirable they can’t afford to loose you
This goes back to the Stockdale Paradox again on both sides, one the one hand you’ve got to believe that what you’ve got to offer in terms of value is way above the compensation you’ll receive and on the other, you’ve got to face facts. If you aren’t a desirable candidate, you’re bluffing you way through this. It’s a much better strategy to make sure you are a desirable candidates who is doing interesting things and making a valuable contribution to the industry, that way its a no brainer, it just makes sense to all the stakeholders. You value sells for you. This can be through opinion pieces, panel talks, fire side chats, podcast interviews, thought pieces, councils you sit on, boards you are on, the influence you have within a particular industry or vertical.
This is about respect. You must respect their position, interest and needs, when they feel that you hear them they will lean in towards you, the will be able to receive your message. Negotiations without empathy are just tennis matches without a ball, it’s just fake posturing and sometimes deals get done, sometimes they don’t. Empathy is a necessary element for all negotiations. It means you get them.
13. Give value first show don’t tell
This is a apart of having swagger. If you’ve got swagger you are confident, you don’t talk you show. Results, value, going above and beyond speaks for you. It helps you cut away from the crowd of mediocre, don’t do what everyone else is doing, add value and you’ll cut to the front of the line.
14. Be an outstanding performer, top of the top.
Be professional and respectful throughout the negotiation process. This goes without saying but how you negotiate says a lot about you, strong arming, threats and manipulating won’t go down well. The employer might agree to what you ask for however they’ll have a bad feeling in their stomach, they might not know why, but eventually they’ll get you out. Top performers aren’t looking for shortcuts or hacks, they are the real deal, looking to add as much value as possible and get handsomely rewarded.
15. Prosperity consciousness
Money is all around us, literally everywhere, don’t get put off by the voices in your head, the recruiter, the other candidates, the employer, all that matters is you remember your true worth and feel it inside. When you are prosperous, it comes from within, you are able to let money and negotiations flow to you, you don’t try to control or force, you have a certain way of doing it with finesse and charisma that inspires action.
16. Leave everyone better off than you found them.
When you have this mindset and approach you are abundant and as a result you are in tune with expansion, big thinking and unlimited possibility.
My motto is #believeitispossible.
Tim Castle's Best-Selling Books for Negotiators, Sales People and those that want to grow.
The Momentum Sales Model — (for anyone in sales looking to overachieve targets and have their best year yet).
The Art of Negotiation — (for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills)
Be The Lion — (for anyone looking to build self confidence, self esteem and become the best version of themselves).
Tim Castle's Courses for Sales People and Self-Esteem.