Below is a 1500-word "best tip"
article that is almost guaranteed to put extra bucks in your bank account. It
applies here to salary negotiations, but it is a technique that you can use
practically any time you are negotiating price.
If you like what you read, you'll want to check out the
Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute,
which will give you the whole toolbox full of tools you need to fatten your
HOW ONE WORD CAN ADD
THOUSANDS TO YOUR PAYCHECK
Bam! That word just cost you plenty!
Can you tell how much it cost you? That word...
A) flushed your new $1,000 stereo system down the toilet;
B) ripped off your $3,000 Pentium 132MHz/2-gig computer system;
C) canceled your reservations for a $5,000 two-week dream trip to an exotic
D) burned the blueprints for the $10,000 addition to your house;
E) yanked your kid out of college because you were $25K short.
That two-letter word, "OK," is really a "four-letter
word" when it comes to salary negotiations. How could those two letters be so
powerful? Easy--"O.K." is what most people say in response to a salary offer.
They mean "I'll accept what you've just offered, thank you."
Depending on where your salary is to begin with, you
could lose A, B, C, D, or E. But you could also keep it, and more besides, if
you learn even one small negotiating technique: change the "OK" to one
word--"Hmmm"--and watch what happens.
If you're at minimum wage, and the employer says,
"$4.65 an hour," an "OK" will freeze it right there. But a "Hmmm" response could
increase it, and just 50 cents an hour more will earn you $1,000 extra in a year
of 40-hour weeks. That's easily a fine new stereo system--or a year's car
insurance--or a month's rent on a great apartment.
The same goes for all other levels, too. A simple
"Hmmm" instead of "OK" can change a $25,000 salary into $28,000 and finance your
new computer system. $45,000 can be pushed to $50,000, affording you that
much-needed two-week vacation.
The "Hmmm" response can drop another ten grand in the
bank for high-level executives, and senior-level execs can buy a $25K freshman
year for a daughter or son by swallowing the "OK."
Anybody can manage that swallow, so anybody can
negotiate a better salary. Sometimes hourly-wage earners think, "Salary
negotiation is for the big shots."
Not true. In fact, it's easier to negotiate
more at the hourly-wage level than practically anywhere else. Why? Perspective!
An extra $.50, $1, or even a $3-5 an hour increase seldom exceeds a company's
phone bill! From your perspective, it's a ten- to fifty-percent raise. From
their perspective, an extra fifty cents an hour costs them only as much as an
extra hour of long-distance calls a week--something most businesses do without a
Don't worry that the employer will change his
or her mind about hiring you just because you ask for more. If you've
interviewed well (and you must have done that or you wouldn't be getting an
offer!), you're the front runner already. Choosing the second best or going
through the whole recruiting-interviewing-hiring process again will cost a
company much more than $1,000 - $5,000 anyway in the long run. Odds are, you'll
get that little extra, and the employer will still consider it a good bargain to
avoid that hassle.
And what's the worst that happens if you don't? Your
new boss will know that you believe you're worth more and treat you better.
Besides, you probably aren't even pushing
employers higher than they expected to go anyway. Good managers always
start low to give themselves negotiating room. They might even really want to
give you more, but if you say, "OK," you tie their hands! There is no gracious
way for them to raise the offer.
Changing "OK" to "Hmmm" is rule number three of the
five salary-making rules contained in the book
Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute.
As stated in the book, rule three is "When you hear the figure or range, repeat
the figure or top of the range, and then be quiet."
This "contemplative" first response to an offer can be
called a "flinch." Even if you're so excited about the offer that you're ready
to dance a jig, make your first response a flinch!
How do you carry off an effective flinch? First, make
sure you repeat the figure they give you before going into the "contemplative"
routine. (That way the interviewer knows you haven't fallen asleep or tuned him
out!) Then, you say something like, "Hmmm," or, "$X/hour? Hmmm. Isn't that a
little low?" Or, "$X/hour. Hmm, is that the best you can do?"
Paradoxically, when you do this, you don't just get
more money from your potential employer; you make him or her feel better about
How's that possible?
Well, say you're selling a car. Mr. Buyer asks, "How
much do you want for the car?" You say, "$8,500." If he says "Sold!" right away,
how do you feel? What's your first thought? Right! You think, "Phooey! He agreed
too quickly. I was too low. I could have gotten more!"
Now notice what happens if he flinches and says, "Hmmm,
is that the best you can do?" You say, "Yes. I have done my research; that's a
good deal on this car; its the best I can do." By the time you close the deal,
you still get $8,500, but you also get the inner satisfaction of winning in the
negotiations by sticking to your price.
But the chances are, your future employer won't come
back with a "Yes, I've done my research," etc. Instead, he'll offer a bit extra
to sweeten the pot--he's got room to give a little, remember?--and
you'll both come out ahead. You, with more cash in hand; the employer, with a
heightened respect for you.
While it's true, then, that "Anybody can
negotiate salary," it's more true to say, "Everyone should negotiate salary."
No matter what your level, there's easy money to be made by changing "OK" to
"Hmmm." Whether you're a hamburger flipper, or a shift supervisor of burger
flippers, or an executive negotiating a regional marketing position for a
burger-flipping chain, don't say "OK"; say, "Hmmm."
Try it! and let me know how well it works; email
P.S. What you've just read focuses only on rule three.
To get the absolutely best shot at winning in your
negotiations, be sure to snag a copy of
Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute
from your bookstore so you can learn all five rules: When to discuss salary, how
to postpone it, how to research your market value, how to add bennies and perks,
getting it in writing, and every gosh-darn possible way to put some extra money
in your pocket. Meanwhile, remember, just saying "Hmmm" instead of "OK" could
boost your money 10% right off the bat.
I originally wrote this article for JobStar, a terrific
web site containing jobsearch and salary information; (Check it out at URL:
http://www.jobstar.org) There, this article is
entitled: Anybody Can Negotiate Salary--This Means You.
It shows you a little gem of a word (Interestingly, it
is one of only two words in the dictionary that have no vowels!) that can
increase your earning all by itself. It illustrates only one of the five rules
and hundreds of tips, quotes, phrases, strategies, hints, directions,
encouragements, attitude adjustments, and easy-to-follow how-to talk you'll find
Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute.
My book is an absolute must for anyone who has ever
wondered, "Could I be making more if I just knew how to ask for it?" This "best
tip" gives you a good flavor of the book. If you like what you read, get the
whole story by ordering your copy.