5 major mistakes that can derail your salary negotiations

Sad upset man face palm disappointed park cover hands angry stressSabphoto/ShutterstockDon’t sabotage yourself. It could cost you.

There’s no room for self-sabotage in a salary negotiation.

Seriously. One wrong move, and you could find that your earnings plummet below your expectations.

You’re already up against a hiring manager or your boss who have their own ideas about pay. You don’t have to add yourself to your list of opponents.

With that in mind, here are some big pitfalls to avoid in any salary negotiation:

Getting emotional

Avoid allowing your 'emotions to trickle into the conversation, instead of treating it as a business discussion,' Paul McDonald, senior executive director at global staffing firm Robert Half, tells Business Insider.

Dan Martineau, president of Martineau Recruiting Technology, a firm specializing in IT executive positions, tells Business Insider that you should reiterate your excitement for the job in negotiations and stay positive, but you shouldn't get so excited that you seem desperate.

'Desperate is problematic. Eager is not. I want people who are eager and excited,' he says. 'It's only a good investment on my end if it's a good investment on your end.'

Veering to extremes

Always do your research to determine an appropriate number or range. Otherwise, you risk sabotaging yourself by asking for far too much or far too little, McDonald says.

To protect yourself against accepting too little or asking for far too much, you can turn to sites like Glassdoor and Salary.com to determine the average compensation range for someone with your level of experience and skills and in your industry or company (or a comparable one, in terms of number of employees, revenue size, and location).

Not practicing

Don't just write notes to prepare for the meeting. Grab a trusted mentor and practice the conversation.

'A great mentor gives feedback not just on what you say, but also on how you say it,' McDonald says. 'Tone of voice, facial reaction, defensiveness, frustration can all hinder a negotiation. Practice the discussion until it's free of emotion and nerves.'

Going in without a plan B

McDonald recommends asking yourself about what matters to you at work besides your paycheck and being prepared to negotiate for these things.

'Firms that have set compensation ranges often have flexibility around other things, like extra vacation days, schedule flexibility and training opportunities,' McDonald says.

'If you don't get the amount you want, reply with, 'May I have a job performance review in six or nine months?' This will give you a window of time to prove yourself and then re-negotiate for a salary increase,' etiquette expert and 'Poised for Success' author Jacqueline Whitmore tells Business Insider.

Acting ungracious

'Always start the discussion by thanking the person for the offer before exploring the negotiation,' McDonald says. 'It shows courtesy and professionalism.'

And if you don't get the offer you think you deserve, don't let your disappointment show or badmouth the employer.

'Consider this: The hiring manager may even call you again in the future if a position in your price range opens up,' Whitmore says.

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