Denise Natishan of Cameron Smith & Associates was a recent guest on Focus on Suppliers. Here’s a transcript that can help prepare you for your next salary discussion.
What are some of the things our viewers need to know about salary negotiations?
Denise: Be prepared, consider the point of view of the other person, and also consider your personal brand. So, in terms of preparation, I think you need to do your homework. Know who you’re talking to. Have a salary range in mind. What do you bring to the table in terms of the person that’s sitting across from the table? Know that they have a specific range that they have to work with.
Help them to understand why they should hire you. What do you bring? How can you solve a problem? What’s keeping them up at night and how can you make that work better for them? Having that point of view of the other person and being realistic with it is also something that’s really important.
Last, but not least, your personal brand. Know that everybody’s unique. Negotiation is not one size fits all. So how do you bring what your personality is to the table?
How do you answer questions about compensation requirements?
Denise: A difficult question when somebody hits you with it. So, going back to being prepared is important. Deflect and defer as much as possible. That’s my advice to everybody.
Things that you could say are something like if you know the salary range but you’re not 100% sure try and turn it around to the other person and say I’ve heard great things about your company and the culture. I’m sure that you will have a competitive and fair offer for me if I’m the right person. By the way, what would that range be for somebody like myself? So, you get an idea of where you’re going with the salary compensation. Or if you just want to defer completely and just say something like if I’m the right person for the position I’m sure that we’ll come up with something that’s fair for both of us. And I’m willing to negotiate at that point.
What would be the right time to salary issues up?
Denise: I think waiting until it’s imminent and you know that you’re going to be getting an offer is closer to when you’re going to want to start talking about salary. You don’t want to start talking about salary, vacation time, all those things when you’re in the process. Make sure they want to hire you. And then when they do then you can start working with the salary.
Compensation packages: What are the most important considerations?
Denise: I think that’s where you know where you are able to negotiate yourself. What’s important to you as a person? So, do you need flex time? Do you need to have more vacation time? What are, is tuition reimbursement something that’s going to be important to you? Companies offer a lot in their packages whether it’s their 401k, whether it’s their bonus structure. So, know what you want to do. But there’s a lot of different things that go into it. So, what might not look like a high base when you consider the entire package is very lucrative.