A FEW EXAMPLES AND A [long but instructive] STORY
--- Here are a eight examples to give you a flavor of what telecoaching can
--- I've picked some of the more interesting people and situations I have
worked with because I think you'll enjoy reading them and because:
: George called about a salaried public-relations
position in a hospital. The hospital was losing money. In the midst of
cutbacks and salary freezes, George didn't know how to get a raise. "I'll
just be happy to keep my job," he said.
: In reviewing his boss's goals, however, we
found that the addictions-treatment center was profitable and the one
department on which the boss pinned his hopes for growth.
George and I spotted the boss's hot button, identified a few of George's PR
accomplishments especially as they related to the center, and developed the
outline of a PR campaign to build the center's visibility and credibility.
Although George was not able to get an immediate salary increase, he did
negotiate a bonus based on the overall use of the center. We estimated the
bonus could net $2,000 to $4,000 a year.
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: A high-level international-business consultant
was interviewing for an operations-management position with a nationwide
food distributor. The recruiter told Frank that $115,000 was as high as the
company would go.
: We were able to find (or find out how to
find) three navigation points to guide us: a cost-of-living index,
comparable salaries, and a specific trouble spot that Frank could handle
with dispatch and save the company $50,000 with. He arranged to negotiate
directly with the hiring decision makers and made his case. Frank got
$20,000 more plus a performance bonus of up to 50 percent of his salary.
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: Jim was hired in summer by a small village to be
its engineer. He felt the offer was low, but the village manager couldn't go
outside the budget, and the budget couldn't be changed until the new village
board reviewed it in the fall.
: To get around the problem, however, Jim asked
for and got a relocation package (tax free) that was not in the original
offer. That boosted his earnings and tided him over until the regular
salary-review process could make his earnings more competitive.
Of course, we also set up a plan to make sure the manager and the new board
would be well informed of his value by the time the fall budget review took
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Product Manager for High-Tech Marketing Products
: Virginia's stumper was how to negotiate a
lateral transfer where she thought (but wasn't sure) she would be making
more than her prospective new boss.
: The problem here is that it usually doesn't
work well when you talk to a new boss about salary and negotiate for more
than the boss is getting. We had to find a way to discover the boss's real
salary, then decide how much to negotiate for. We worked out a way to
present the dilemma to personnel that allowed the personnel administrator to
give Virginia her salary guidelines without actually revealing her boss's
earnings. We also strategized a way her new boss might get a raise.
She changed positions, kept her salary, and in the first month taught her
boss how to negotiate a better deal for himself as well as for Virginia.
Soon they were both earning more than when her negotiations began.
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Marketing Manager/Sales Manager
Situation: Dave originally interviewed for a position he
was overqualified for. During the interview the sales VP and the operations
manager were impressed with Dave, so they called the president in to discuss
upgrading the position. They did upgrade it; but just as a camel is called "a
horse designed by a committee," the new position was pasted together with two
conflicting sets of responsibilities. As it stood, the job was 50-percent sales,
sales support, and on-site trouble-shooting, and 50-percent strategic planning.
That combination had conflicting elements that would doom it to failure. Dave
wanted 10-percent sales and 90-percent planning; he was also pushing for $20,000
more now and even more interesting money later. He also knew that two of the
three people in on the decision would fight energetically to keep the job
50-percent sales and sales support.
Telecoaching: First, Dave needed coaching on how to avoid
premature salary discussions. Even though his superiors were technically making
him an offer, they hadn't really decided for which job. In our discussion it
became clear that he was not on Salary-Making Rule 2 (in which the interviewer
goes first), but rather on Rule 1, which in Dave's case was: Postpone salary
talk until the company knows which job it wants to offer.
The strategy we worked out was to concentrate on a five-year plan rather
than on a present opening. By submitting a two-page outline of such a plan, Dave
was able to pull the attention of all three decision makers to the big picture.
He also offered an alternative way to get the 50-percent
sales-and-trouble-shooting portion all done without making it half his job. Dave
spent a total of twenty minutes delaying and discussing compensation. Finally,
he increased the salary $20,000 ($1,000 a minute), and negotiated a
profit-sharing bonus based on his five-year performance plan.
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: Similarly, I told Jerry to break the rules.
Usually the base salary is handled first, then the bennies and perks.
However, Jerry knew he would want certain pieces of computer hardware to get
the results the employer wanted on the job.
: I coached him to say, "Salary and benefits
are important, Mr. Employer, but having the tools to do the job for you is
my first concern. Let's discuss the important computer investment I want to
you to make and, if we can agree on that, I'm sure compensation will be no
While negotiating that perk, Jerry's attitude was: "Even if you offered me a
huge salary, I would have to say no if the tools don't come with it." The
employer was impressed with his integrity and commitment to results. Jerry
got the hardware and a better compensation package to boot.
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: A city manager had a poor performance review and
therefore only a small raise.
: It took us two half-hour sessions to work up
a strategy because three of seven city commissioners would change in three
months. By rigorous questioning and evaluating, he discovered each
commissioner's hot buttons. The manager realized he would need some special
management-training and personal-development courses if he was ever going to
meet their expectations. By proposing a specific, eighteen-step plan for
self-improvement and better performance, he saved his job. (He found out later
that the small raise was a first step in a push to get him to quit. The
commissioners had actually been planning to terminate him.) He is now well on
his way to recouping all his lost-salary ground on his next opportunity.
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: Amy had a huge opportunity to make money on the
residuals (on the "back end") directly attributable to her work. She was not
aware of it and called only to practice her regular negotiation pitch.
: We practiced the regular rules to bring her
salary up 10 percent. Then I showed her the back-end gold mine. (See Residual
Commission in Chapter 7.) We rehearsed negotiating for bennies on each renewal
transaction from original accounts she generated if and only if the accounts
were profitable from her copywriting. Each year thereafter her earnings jumped
between $10,000 and $15,000.
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ON GETTING THE CONFIDENCE TO NEGOTIATE
The above examples were somewhat complicated; most people's telecoaching
needs are much simpler. Often in telecoaching, you'll just confirm and solidify
a straightforward application of the five salary-making rules. Sometimes its
main benefit is to give needed encouragement and practice.
"I couldn't believe I said what I did." (J. G., clerk.)
"I kept hearing your voice during the interview and I said those magic
words. I think I was more surprised at my chutzpah than my boss was. It helped
and it worked." (T. S., manufacturer's rep.)
"If you hadn't bawled me out for being wimpy, I'd have given up. I'm still a
wimp, overall, but at least I'm earning more money!" (L. W., customer-service
"One needs one's spirit fortified to really stand up for what one deserves.
Thanks." (M. C., educator.)
"Hearing you say 'You can do it' made me feel that I could do it. I did it!"
(M. B., events planner.)
"He then said, 'Equity?! You want equity too?!' I thought I had gone too
far, but I got it, and he was impressed." (B. T., music-company manager.)
"At first I thought, 'This is preposterous! I have no right to ask for all
that. After [our telecoaching] I saw how I really had been cheating myself. It
wasn't my boss's fault, it was me believing that I shouldn't really get what I
deserve. When I finally asked for it, it seemed like the most reasonable thing
on earth." (D. W., accountant.)
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"I kept wanting you to go and talk for me. You had so many great ways to say
things. When I finally did it, though, they weren't your words any more. I had
used your words enough to make them my own." (K. B., nurse.)
"Practice makes perfect but for me practice with you made it possible." (R.
D. M., counselor.)
"I thought I knew how to do this. I read the book a hundred times! But it
was different saying it out loud somehow. Anyway it worked, thanks." (W. B. C.,
"Somebody should make everybody rehearse their lines about salary
negotiations. Rehearsing answers to every possible response is what made my
$5,000 happen." (J. W., salesman.)
"I never could have stated my case like that if we hadn't practiced. I tell
my friends that I argued my case with a lawyer and I won!" (M. L., legal
Arranging Personal Telecoaching
If you'd like to strategize, rehearse, or just review what you've been
thinking, you are welcome to set up a telecoaching session. Here's what to
do. Click here, Submit the form, Follow the steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Don't be shy about calling. I love doing telecoachings. Clients report
they put a lot of money in the bank from them.
Cyberink's [long but instructive] STORY
This story is rather long, [1400 words! Yipes! Almost a Short Story, eh?] but
it was sent to me by someone I telecoached for only 10 minutes and I thought it
was instructive in the power of one of my salary making rules as well as a good
example of the money to be made by using a coach to customize the rules in
Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute to fit your specific
Many people I counsel balk at obeying "Salary Making Rule #1: Postpone
salary talk until there's an offer." They worry that they'll offend the
interviewer and lose a chance at the offer. (Little do they realize that
DISCLOSING salary too soon has an even higher chance at losing the offer than
That "offend the interviewer and lose an offer scenario" almost happened to
<firstname.lastname@example.org> (We decided not to publish his full name or the actual
company name in this story--although please know that he authorized my posting
of his story, and he would be glad to be contacted if you wish). It all turned
out for the best, I thought I'd share his letter here because it is instructive.
Main Lessons to learn:
1) Postponing salary can generally get you more money.
2) You must do it in a way that feels like you're cooperating with the
hiring process; in a way that makes it sound like there's going to be NO PROBLEM
when salary time comes.
Here's his letter:
<<Thank you for your patience in allowing me to get back to you. You might
remember speaking with me on the phone in early August regarding a job offer
problem I was having with a particular H. R. person.
<<Anyway . . . here's the story . . . I hope it helps you perhaps as an
additional anecdote for your the next edition of your book.
<<* In June, I was contacted by an H. R. person for a large technology
company in the San Diego area shortly after submitting my resume to them. (I had
heard about this non-advertised position through a temporary employee that I had
hired for some overflow work.)
<<* I scheduled an interview with the H. R. representative. She told me that
I would be interviewing with her, plus four additional employees in the
department that I would be working.
<<* The big day arrived. My first interview was with the H. R. Recruiter.
After asking me several general questions about my work style, and telling me
about the company's benefits package, she asked me a direct question about my
salary. Having heard that it is always best to let the company go first, I
declined to answer the question.
<<"I feel that I would prefer not to talk about salary right now," I said.
"It would be best for me if later the company told me what they feel I would be
worth to them in this capacity -- that way the company is satisfied, and I will
be satisfied that I am being paid what I am worth."
<<She didn't like that answer. She told me that she really needed to know
the range. She told me that I was going to be asked that question again and
again today by the other interviewees . . . and I might as well tell her now.
<<Again, I politely declined. (I was being vastly underpaid in my current
position. I wanted the job, but I was afraid that they would pay me a mere 5% or
more over the current salary that I was receiving.) She shrugged her shoulders,
politely escorted me to the H. R. department reception area, and handed me the
schedule for the next four interviews.
<<* The next four interviews went flawlessly. I admit that I felt very
qualified for the position -- and answered every one of their questions with
ease and authority. Everyone seemed glad to meet me, and talked in ways that
made me feel like I was already hired (i.e., "Once you start, we'll have to . .
. ", etc.).
<<I went home feeling great. I was finally going to get my big break -- a
job that I would really LIKE doing the work . . . that I would want to stay late
<<* Weeks elapsed. Although I had left several messages on the H. R.
person's voice mail, I received no phone calls back. Additionally, the voice
mail answered after 1 ring, an indication that all outside calls were programmed
as "do not disturb."
<<* Finally I received a phone call from M.G., my potential boss's boss. He
told me that I was going to be receiving an offer the following week. Again, I
<<* The next week elapsed. I was beginning to get angry. I was being jerked
<<* A total of 10 weeks from my initial interview, I received a phone call
from the Recruiter. She told me that she was scheduling me for three more
interviews. I didn't fully understand what was happening at this point. I
agreed, and penciled in the date.
<<* My three additional interviews went flawlessly as well. That was when I
got the full story:
<<The company works by "consensus hiring." That means that even if nine
people decide that they want to hire you, if the tenth says "no," you don't get
hired. Everyone must agree.
<<Well, M.G. told me, it seems that I made the H. R. Recruiter angry by my
comments about the salary on the first interview. She felt that I was being
"manipulative" -- and, therefore, was not "company material."
<<Why the additional three interviews? Well, the four others decided that I
was the person for the job -- and they sought to override the Recruiters "nay"
vote. Three more interviews with managers in the MIS department with "yes" votes
were necessary to override the "nay" vote of the Recruiter.
<<I took the time to tell M.G. that "My skills of negotiation will be an
asset to the company once I am an employee. The fact that I am negotiating with
the recruiter shouldn't eliminate me as "company material." He agreed.
<<* The following week I received a phone call from a woman named Linda. She
introduced herself as the recruiter's manager. She told me, via my voice mail,
that since the "salary history" part of my job application had not been filled
out completely, it was considered an "incomplete application." She told me that
I would need to again fill out an application before I would receive a job
offer. I was told that out of everyone that the company had ever hired, I was
the first person to refuse to provide my salary history.
<<* I decided to go find a book on salary negotiation. I ended up buying
"Job Interviews for Dummies." It had a chapter dedicated to salary negotiation,
but not much concrete to say about anyone in my position.
<<The book did, however, mention your book and so I found the "$1000 a
Minute" book and read it in one night. I called you for telecoaching the next
<<After you and I talked (it was only 15 minutes, I believe), I put together
a salary history sheet, and filled out the application in a way that referenced
the sheet (for instance, it would say -- see enclosed "salary history sheet" in
the box that asked for salary for a particular job).
<<I then put the salary history together in a way that made my salaries look
large, without lying. I listed the jobs out of order to make the salaries look
ever-increasing. Additionally, I put all the free-lance jobs had recently done
on the list as well, and calculated a base annual rate based on the hourly rates
I had been charging them. I then changed the name of the list to
"Salary/Earnings History" to account for the fact that not all the positions
<<Additionally, I wrote a letter using near-verbatim text from your book. It
said that although I was providing them with the Salary/Earnings History, it was
against my better judgement because "I didn't want to get boxed in or screened
out because of past salary" and didn't want to be subjected to a "LAST BASE
SALARY + 10%" offer.
<<That seemed to do the trick. After I faxed all them the information, I was
contacted the very next week by the original H. R. recruiter (evidently her
manager was out of the picture again) with a job offer providing me with
* A 58% raise
* A $6000 sign-on bonus
* A 2000-share stock option.
<<* Looking back on the whole thing, it was probably good that I didn't talk
salary with the original recruiter. I probably would have been screened out as
someone who was asking far too little for the position I was interviewing for.
Mentioning my current salary would have put up a red flag in the recruiter's
mind . . . as well as the people interviewing me.
<<It was best that I waited for everyone to decide that I was the person for
the job before talking money.
<<* What could I have done better? I probably should have phrased my answer
less "manipulatively" to the recruiter's salary-related questions. I should have
simply said, "I'd be glad to discuss salary, and even show you my W-2's when
there's mutual interest. I'm sure your company pays market value, so I don't
anticipate any problems with salary. Let's see if the match is right and we can
handle it easily then."
<<This would have been an answer that couldn't be construed as manipulative.
<<Jack, I hope this little story provides the feedback for your perusal.
Thanks again for all your help!>>
"Cyberink's" story illustrates how disclosing salary could screen you out,
could screen you in "low," and could be a sticking point in an interview. By
memorizing a phrase that you can "own" and feel good about saying, you can
postpone salary talk WITHOUT alienating an interviewer. That's why I want to
coach you! These are the kinds of things you can handle when you bring a coach
in with you to the interview (figuratively, of course).
This also illustrates, too, how postponing it is a good idea AND ALSO how
you initiating salary talk and bringing it up on your own when they are at the
point of wanting you is good salary negotiations.
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Hope Y'all enjoyed this story.
And I hope you all PROSPER in your salary negotiations. And whether or not
you decide to "bring a coach" with you, please, please, please at the very
least get Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute
practice with a friend so you know how to do it by yourself.
Don't leave money on the table!
Do you want to see more proof that the system works? Go back to the HOME
PAGE and listen to some of the many people I've helped make lots of money.