14 Surprising Negotiating Tricks To Boost Your Salary

Negotiating your salary at a new job or with your current employer can be incredibly nerve-wracking, particularly for people who haven’t done it before.

It’s a necessary activity, however, since avoiding it can cost as much as $US1 million over the course of your career, according to an analysis by Salary.com. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.

At the same time, a lot of the advice on how to negotiate effectively can be contradictory or cliché. That’s why we’ve looked at the research and collected some of the surprising strategies and techniques that can lead to a higher salary.

Think of the negotiation as a competition.

At the end of the day, in most salary negotiations, you're going after something the other party doesn't want to give. That makes it a competition, and viewing it that way leads to better results, according to research from George Mason Professor Michelle Marks and Temple Professor Crystal Harold.

People who use a competitive strategy, by identifying their goals and being willing to push for them, end up with significantly higher salaries than those who are accommodative or compromising.

Always use precise numbers in offers and counter-offers.

Most people are familiar with the advice to start with a high number, but new research from Columbia Business School suggests that a precise number makes a more powerful anchor in negotiations. That means replacing at least a few of the zeros in a round offer like $US100,000 and going for $104,500.

According to Malia Mason, the author of the study, a precise number leads the other party to think that you've done research to arrive at a very particular number, which makes them think you're likely correct.

Open with something personal, and your negotiating partner will respond in kind.

In an experiment where Kellogg and Stanford students negotiated by email, those who shared unrelated personal details over the course of the negotiation ended up getting significantly better results than those who kept things to name, e-mail, and the dry monetary details.

Opening up a bit sends a signal that you're trustworthy, according to Wharton professor Adam Grant, and makes it more likely that they'll reciprocate.

If you are meeting in person, make steady eye contact.

Not every negotiator resorts to deception. But it's often in their interest to hide how interested they are in a candidate, or how willing they are to go to a higher number.

According to a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the most effective ways to keep people honest is to make steady eye contact.

Put any concerns you have on the table all at once.

When getting an offer, many people want to seem happy, to avoid looking too needy or disappointed. They might bring up a problem or two, but gloss over other issues that end up coming up later.

That drives hiring managers crazy, according to Harvard professor Deepak Malhotra. The best strategy is to reveal all of your concerns at once, and note which ones are most important, so you can work through them.

Have a shot of espresso a bit before you start.

When you drink coffee, you're more likely to stick to your guns in a negotiation, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Preparing to negotiate after drinking something with caffeine made people more resistant to persuasion. Willingness to hold firm to your attitudes makes it more likely you'll achieve the goal you came in with.

Make the first offer.

Conventional wisdom is that you should wait for the other party to make the initial offer in order to get more information to act on.

It's actually much better to make the first offer because you get to set the 'anchor,' the figure that affects the trajectory of the negotiation. People who make very high first offers end up with a much better result.

The first offer pulls the other person in its direction, and it's difficult to adjust the other way.

Be a little unpredictable.

The default for negotiations is a relatively level and less emotional approach, an attempt to be as rational as possible. But injecting some passion and unpredictability can create an advantage.

A study from Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky found that emotional inconsistency from negotiators leads to greater concessions from the other party because they feel less in control of the situation.

Expressing anger, alternating between anger and happiness, and alternating between anger and disappointment all yielded bigger concessions.

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