1. Salary-Making Rule #1:
Postpone Salary Talk Until They're Serious
This is the hardest-to-do of all five rules. We’re
trained in school to eagerly raise our hand and offer
the right answer. Don’t! In Salary negotiations, if you
give the “right” (a.k.a. factual) answer, you’ll often
be giving the “wrong” answer – the answer that costs you
Why wrong? The usual outcome of talking too soon about
salary is that you get screened-out or you get
screened-in, but low-balled.
Until you know you're on the short list, it is
advantageous that you put off disclosing your salary
--At the start of the interview process you don't have
enough information to know what the job's worth or what
its potential could be. You could end up agreeing up
front for a smaller salary than the job is worth.
--Later on, it’s still a strategic error, because you
could lose out to a “cheaper” candidate and never know
it was your salary number that knocked you out of the
So, wait until they’re serious about you. And… when are
you sure they’re serious? When they make you an offer.
Postponing without upsetting your interviewer requires
tact. To put off answering the What are your salary
expectations, question, you’ll need your own
personalized phrase. Something you can say with
confidence and that sounds like you. Having that
statement well prepared and rehearsed can gain you
thousands of dollars.
--MORE ON THIS TOPIC: Click on the video on this
Home Page to catch a few examples.
--MORE ON THIS TOPIC:
I cover this delaying process in detail in Chapter 2 of
Negotiating Your Salary, How to Make $1000 a Minute.
--MORE ON THIS TOPIC: you can read a real life
Real Life Example: Rule #1
What if you already “blew it?” and let them know your
range? Don’t worry, you can recover. First make sure
they haven’t screened you out because of your blunder.
As long as that hasn’t happened, you’ve cleared the
first hurdle. Next, make sure your research (see rule #4
below) is spot on so you can make a clear case for
earning your market value, not a bump from your last
--MORE ON THIS TOPIC: Check out the advanced salary
negotiations: “Blew It.” It’s an article on the
SPIN/VARIATIONS page (click the SPIN/VARIATIONS button
on side bar of this home page). Also consider coaching
so you don’t blow anything else.
--MORE ON THIS TOPIC: BTW, it’s getting
increasingly harder to “pull off” this first
Salary-Making Rule. Don’t miss the advanced salary
negotiations articles and specifically the “It’s Harder,
so Here’s Four Postponing Strategies“ page. I think it’s
“M” on the SPIN/VARIATIONS page.