Negotiating salary: should you negotiate all you can or take what they offer?

Posted by Carl Gould on November 10, 2010
Money, business, employees, small business owner

Unemployment is at a record high and many job seekers struggle with not only getting a job, but securing a salary commensurate to their qualifications. While this blog is historically devoted to entrepreneurs, we do get many employees who are looking for tips in speaking to business owners.
To negotiate or to not negotiate, that is the question…
1. Investigate what the going rate is for your services in the marketplace currently. Find out what people are being hired for and at what salaries. This would give you a good idea as to what the ‘competition’ is doing. This might help you establish your ‘asking price’.
2. Know your ‘walk away’ number. Is there a level of compensation that you would not accept no matter how badly you needed the job? If the employer offers you compensation that is at or near your asking price and far away from your walk away number, then there is no need to negotiate.
3. Negotiate on perks, benefits, and terms if you can’t negotiate price.
a. Most businesses are struggling to hang on and, during this time, most employees are lucky just to have work. The last thing an employer needs is another bill they can’t pay. However, in lieu of increased salary, they may be willing to give you…flexible hours, increased benefits, more vacation or holiday time, etc.
b. Unless you can show your employer that you bring into the company or save the company, five times your salary or more, then negotiating on price will be quite difficult.
Be realistic! Recognize that times are tough. Also, recognize that entrepreneurs are keenly aware that this is an excellent environment to take risks and to grow. Get hired at a rate you can live with and live on, prove your worth, and negotiate from there having shown your value directly.
“Carl L Gould is the President and Chief DISCoverY Officer CMT International, LLC (, the farthest-reaching business mentoring organization in the world. Carl’s unique approach to executive coaching, business mentoring and performance training helps his clients achieve results worldwide. His latest book, The 7 Stages of Small Business Success – From Startup to 7 Figures in Three Years or Less, will provide entrepreneurs and business owners a step-by-step formula to taking their businesses to the next level”


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