Salary negotiation lines to have up your sleeve

by Feb 26, 20172 comments

Learn these 5 key salary negotiation lines to close your deal


Negotiation doesn’t come easily to many women. Frequently they are so delighted to have their skills and expertise recognised that they will change jobs, even for a promotion, with no movement in salary or increase in benefits of any kind.  You should never do that. EVER. At the height of the moment those cool salary negotiation lines that would help you seal the deal, slip your mind. So just commit to memory these deal closing salary negotiation hacks and let the discussions begin.  It is all a process. Women’s reluctance to negotiate contributes to the gender pay gap and is something you can easily take control over. Sadly, when they do take charge they are also less successful. So it’s important to start with the end in mind.

Read: Smart negotiation tips for every career stage

1. “Thanks for the offer I believe I can make a great contribution..”

Emphasize your delight and enthusiasm. Don’t feel uncomfortable or be afraid of negotiating. It’s normal and an expected part of the process. Never apologise for being difficult or demanding or seeming to be driven by money! This is very common in women, although I am seeing a shift with younger female negotiators. For Millennials in the U.K. and elsewhere, salaries are at an all-time low according to the Institute of Professional Development, so the only way to get a pay rise is with a career move.  Believe me – businesses are about making money and being efficient.

2. “My salary expectation is….

Part of applying for a new job is completing research on the company and the sector. You would never sell your house without checking out the market, so never apply for a job without doing the same. You have to know your market rate. You are your greatest asset. So be sure to research sites such as Glassdoor, PayScale, Fairygodboss or InherSight to get an understanding of market levels. Talk to your network and see if your assumptions tie in with theirs – bear in mind that women are frequently underpaid. Add 20% to your first number. It is a negotiation after all. Focus on what you expect for this role rather than what you currently earn.

3. “I’m disappointed, your offer has fallen short of my expectations…”

5 mistakes to avoid when negotiating your salary

Don’t be afraid to express disappointment

Rather than going straight to “No thanks” start the process by indicating disappointment. This gives you an opportunity to make your pitch again and repeat the value you add and your wonderful skills and expertise. You can also reference market rates. If you do get a straight out “No” – don’t be intimidated. No is a good position to be in because you can ask even more questions!  Always talk in terms of a salary range to let your employer know you are flexible.

Read: Block Past Salary Questions; They Perpetuate Gender Wage Disparities

4. “What sort of have flexibility is there?….”

This will depend on who you are negotiating with. It’s important to find what sort of range you might expect and what if anything that is a sticking point. Most companies will move and have some flexibility somewhere. If they don’t, you have to be clear about what your fallback position is (what can you live with) and your deal-breaking point (when do you walk away?)

5. “ Help me understand the main issue for you……”

Updated resume

or “Help me understand the reasoning behind… ”  Here they will outline what the problem is. It could be salary levels of colleagues or customs and practice of the organisation. Never focus on the earnings of potential colleagues. They are not your problem. Your personal skill set is all that matters.  Just find out what the barrier is and use that as a base point for the next stage of the process.

Read: 5 mistakes to avoid when negotiating your salary

6. “I would feel more comfortable with …..”

Give a range again of what your expectation is.  You must always be willing to walk away if the deal doesn’t go the way you hope. Can you add on other fringe benefits, play around with fixed salary and bonus, or negotiate a review in 6 months to meet the shortfall? There are lots of ways. Sometimes commitment to training or access to a mentor are low-cost perks, but with high rewards for candidates. Make sure they are written into the contract. Don’t accept verbal commitments only. They could disappear.

7. “When can I start….?

Final question!



Need help negotiating your next career move? Contact 3Plus now!


Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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