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Negotiate Your Best Salary

Negotiating your salary for a new job or promotion should be done very skillfully if it is to be successful. And who would not want to get paid commensurate with their responsibilities and expertise?

The author is a former program director for Bentley's Professional MBA Program. He teaches negotiation to graduate and executive education students at Bentley and offers the following advice for your next discussion on salary.

1. Make Peace with Conflict: A negotiation is by definition conflict but a construction negotiation involves a robust, open and honest dialogue. You need to be clear about what you want and address the issues head-on without delay.

2. Name a Range, Not A Number: suggest a range so you'll have room for discussion. But first, research what is reasonable to ask for and what is reasonable to accept. Learn what the job is really worth.

3. Advocate for Your Value: Okay, so now you have your range. Aim to position yourself at its top by differentiating yourself and your skills and experience. Explain how your skill set is unique and valuable and should be valued more highly.

4. Get Creative: Salary negotiations can become toxic if the discussion gets stuck on the single issue of salary. If for some reason the company cannot match what your range, discuss other compensation options like vacation or relocation expenses or working from home.

5. Leverage Other Offers: If you have another job offer, mention it matter-of-factly by saying something like: "You are my number one choice, but I do have another offer for more. Let's discuss ways we can close the gap." Even if this is not successful in the short term, it may increase your perceived value and can lead to better opportunities in the futre with the employer.

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