How to Negotiate Your Salary Effectively

When you get a new job or when you ask for a raise, a salary negotiation usually takes place. This represents a sticking point for many people, because they don’t know how to negotiate effectively and they often end up getting lower salaries than they deserve.

As a communication coaching, I’ve been teaching many of my clients how to negotiate their salaries effectively. Here are the steps that work best for them:

1. Know the market. It’s important to know what a fair salary is for your job, in the kind of company you work for and considering your responsibilities. In order to do so, you must know the market. So make sure you do your homework and you come to the negotiation with a good understanding of the salaries in your niche.

2. Show results. The only really efficient way to justify asking for a certain salary is through your results. Your employer can best be persuaded to give you the salary you want if you prove to them that you can add a lot of value. Your previous results are the ones you can use to imply the future results you’ll create.

3. Ask for more than you really want. By requesting a bigger salary than the one you really want, you leave room for negotiation. Thus, you can make a compromise during the negotiation; you can lower your salary demands and this way only reach the salary you’re really aiming for. This is a simple but highly helpful negotiation technique.

4. Stand your ground. Many employees compromise a lot during a negotiation because they are afraid that if they don’t they’ll lose the job. However, this fear is many times unrealistic and exaggerated. Be willing to stand your ground and take some risks in a negotiation. If you truly are a valuable employee, you will get the salary you’re asking for.

With good salary negotiation skills, you can get benefits many employees only dream of, and you can ensure top compensation for your work.

Love My Alliances, Hate Negotiation

Everything in life is a compromise; everything in life is a negotiation. We all seem stifled by the word and implications that surround negotiating. Yet what most of us do not realize is that we have been negotiating since we were born. From the time we wanted a bottle or refused napping our education in negotiation began. In fact, research for this article illustrates that 43% of the American workforce changed jobs since 2006. And, the divorce rate in the United States hovers at over 53%.

However, we become increasingly befuddled by negotiation. We hold strong beliefs that negotiation is meant to be a battle. We begin negotiations on the defensive and seek to end them in a similar manner. The most vital idea to comprehend about negotiation is its definition. Negotiation is nothing more than an exchange of ideas and values between two or more parties with different interests. Conceptually negotiation is a communication and critical thinking exercise inducing creative problem solving. This article seeks to address ways in which you can negotiate and still move away with your credibility and friendships in tact.

The best concept for understanding negotiation is to indicate what it isn’t. We first need to debunk the myths.

Myth: Negotiation is about winning and losing. The myth of win-lose is ancient. Validation of winning is not bequeathing more concessions than the other party. One simply needs to be concerned with the amount of take. This denotes loss.

Myth: Negotiation is about power All people in a negotiation have power. If two sides are negotiating each as an equal amount of power, one desires something from the other. Yet negotiation is not so much about power, it is about honesty or lack thereof. Power stems from the side that enables it. Donald Trump by nature believes he has power due to wealth and notoriety, yet if he desires something from someone else the power shifts. The larger concern is not relinquishing power to the opposing side.

Myth: Negotiation is about chicanery In reality, negotiation is about resolving an issue where both sides obtain equal value by amicably and honestly agreeing to terms. However, negotiation is similar to chess, strategies are used and sometimes held so that each party gains more than they requested. Rather than lie, most negotiators are honest, they simply do not fully disclose information.

Myth: All negotiations are about prices and are sales related Nothing is further from the truth. Negotiations stem from all walks of life: from dating, to deciding upon a movie to noise decibels. Negotiating establishes boundaries and how far each side allows another within them.

Perhaps the most understood principle of negotiation is a requirement to plan. Most often, negotiations fail due to improper procedures, paperwork or misread issues. Planning is the first and vital step in every negotiation. Each party should strategize to define the motives of each side, goals that might be addressed, time frames and players. Research affirms that in 73% of most negotiators are unprepared. This step is vital to assist in moving forward. Good planning and comprehension help to avoid miscues and maintain proper and efficient conversation. Exemplars of good negotiation techniques are barely surprised by new information.

Negotiations are mixed motive situations. Each side arrives with a variety of goals and objectives- even timeframes. What appears urgent to one; is apathetic to another. It is imperative that issues be immediately addressed. Most importantly, the issues must be documented so all parties agree without a misunderstanding. A foppish issue should not resurface at a latter time. The more detailed the documentation the easier it becomes to facilitate conversation. Once agreed to, timetables should be established so as not to languish on any one issue.

Negotiation is information and relationship dependent. Information is crucial to negotiation. The data need be specific; it is easier to comprehend and complete issues. Typically a tactical ploy to assist concessions, most data is not displayed. Negotiators should then decifer the most imperative issues first do that all needed data is disclosed making for effective conversations. Coincidentally, conversations are more placid when parties are familiar with each other. Particular interest is implicitly displayed since familiarity with both parties shares a common interest- “saving face”. Dignity is a traditional process. Whether in business or amongst friends, all desire to maintain honor, especially with familiarity of the parties. As the cliché states familiarity breeds content; the more familiarity with someone the easier the negotiation!

Egos and Communication. Another crucial component for negotiation success is to check you baggage and your ego at the door. Good negotiators know they are purposeful and do not advertise their success. A negotiation is concerned with mutual agreement not wins and losses. Keeping egos in check helps alliances and other desired relationships.

Additionally, all negotiators need reminders for ears and eyes and not mouth. Too often negotiators tend to spoil alliances by speaking too much. Peter Drucker once stated, “Communication is often about what is not stated”. Listening enables all to understand issues, allow for issues that might go unstated and strategically enable the “opponent” to move first. The alliance builders understand the vitality of listening, it is a practiced art form.

Compromise, Commitment and Conclusion. Negotiation would not exist if not for the power and the reciprocity of compromise. Concessions enable negotiators to agree on small things to assist in declaring small victories. Accommodations negate foolish issues and streamline discussion. Once decided, agree to commitment and document so as not to rehash. Trivial details take time away from other important issues. It is more important to move forward then review unnecessary data. Once the issue is complete, move forward or conclude, it allows less time for pondering decisions.

To allay any fears of negotiating, it is best to align this business tactic with athletics, it is a learned format not born. Admittedly, there exist individuals that love to converse and banter yet negotiation is not an easy skill. It takes patience, persistence and proper listening to understand the issues. Negotiation is a part of everything we do in life, almost every day. It is a skill that combines crucial critical thinking, reciprocity, and professional communication. It is not easy to win friends and influence decisions in negotiation, yet if we understand motives, create a thorough plan and expect the unexpected, each negotiation we have becomes easier and more effective. Negotiation increases our perception, our patience and our resolve to maintain business relationships.

How to Create a Killer PowerPoint Presentation – 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Your presentation is your most powerful closing tool. You know that. You also know that every sales person confronted with a big sales pitch wants a presentation so compelling, so persuasive, so amazingly unforgettable that by the end of it the audience is sold. Why not?

I’ll tell you why not. I look at sales presentations every day, and I can give you at least 10 reasons why a presentation falls flat. And it is not a failure of PowerPoint. The bloopers I see are made by the “writers” of the presentation, either because they have no idea how adults hear, see, and process information, or because they don’t have the time or the creativity to do it right, or because they just don’t care.

PowerPoint is a foolproof software. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a fool of yourself when you use it; you can. It does mean that anyone can use it–and use it well–if you know what constitutes a good PowerPoint presentation. Whether you are in sales, education or service, whether you are a professional or a once-in-a-while presenter, it isn’t smart to annoy your audience or put them to sleep. You want them to sit up and take notice.

Here are 10 presentation mistakes I see most commonly. Avoid them and create a killer presentation.

1. There is no clear message.

The presentation is full of content but the message is unclear. There is lots of information, but what does it mean? If the audience was asked to state the message in one sentence, they wouldn’t have a clue.

FYI, your message is a strong statement of fact. It is the one most important thing you want your audience to remember if they forget everything else. It’s true that your message should never be written in full on the screen because the presenter will say it at the opening and again at the close–as well as several times throughout the presentation.  Nevertheless your audience should be able to discern your message from the slides they see.

For example, your message might be something like: we build the best cars in the universe. Or, our software protects your privacy. Or you can count on us to grow your money. Whatever it is, your slides should reinforce your message and your message should be clear from your slides.

2. There are too many slides.

A listening audience has a finite attention span. When you expose them to too much information, they lose track of where you are and what you are saying. Very quickly, they tune out and turn off because they have lost interest. It’s awfully hard to be a great presenter when nobody is listening.

3. The script is written on the screen.

An audience stops paying attention to a speaker when they begin to read. Plus, they are annoyed because if you simply wanted them to read, why did you ask them to come? You could have mailed it in. Moreover, a presenter reads more slowly aloud than an audience who is reading to themselves–and that creates a cognitive dissonance. So in addition to being bored silly, the audience becomes unhappy with the presenter.

4. There are too many words on each slide.

Never mind that PowerPoint has a “handout” version. Let your kids use that function for their classwork if they wish. But what goes on the screen is not for your handouts. Ever. Your handouts should be reader-friendly documents that reinforce the presenter’s message–not short-cuts to proper preparation. A good rule of thumb is: 3 to 6 words on a slide. Period.

5. The presentation amounts to an information dump.

Too much information makes all of it instantly forgettable. An audience needs two or three–no more than four– important ideas to remember. Give them more, and you may as well stay home and present in the shower.

6. There is no obvious organization.

These are the presentations where the presenter is likely to say: so the first thing is. And the next thing is. And another thing is. And so on. When organization of the presentation is not instantly obvious, the listeners don’t trust themselves to follow along, so they don’t even try. Of course, that means they lose trust in the presenter too.

If you want your audience to sit up and listen, you’ll need to organize your pitch simply and logically–ideally into 3 clear topics your audience will easily remember.

7. There is no graphic appeal and no originality.

Either the presentation is on a white background (to save color printing for handouts–which a presentation is not meant to be) or there is no visual impact to the slides. The problem could be overlooked if there were only a couple of slides. But when there are dozens, visual appeal is essential.

Of course, if there is no originality on the slides, the audience is left to conclude that you are just like all your competitors–and they have seen and heard all this before. They might as well write up their shopping list for next weekend.

8. There are grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Unforgivable and completely avoidable if you use no phrases or sentences on screen.

9. There are too many fancy transitions.

Yes, PowerPoint offers an array of swirling, twirling and eye-popping “transitions” the kids all love. But in a professional presentation, use none of them. That means zilch, nil, nada, zero. Just because you can do it technically doesn’t mean you should. In fact, those transitions physically nauseate most adults and practically guarantee your audience will be looking elsewhere.

10. There is little continuity or cohesiveness.

You know the old joke that says a horse assembled by committee looks like a camel. Sadly, there are too many camels on screen. Perhaps somebody puts in a slide they like from another presentation. Somebody else makes a slide at home and adds it. The marketing department sends you a slide you must use. Then you see a picture you think will fit in and you scan it to use on a slide. Backgrounds are different. Fonts are different. Visuals are different. Presto! A camel!

If you want to engage your audience from the very first word, take note of the 10 most common mistakes I see and avoid them. Make your organization logical, your message clear, and your presentation energetic. Then take pride in delivering presentations that knock ‘em dead.