There are many techniques that work well in negotiations. Knowing the ones that are adaptable to your specific negotiation is a bit of a puzzle that I want to help you solve. In this blog I will teach you about one of my favorite techniques. The take-away is a negotiation strategy that can get you what you want but make sure you use it wisely. The take-away if often used as a statement like “if you don’t take this offer than we are done and I will leave”. It is true that you will say something like that but the technique works best when it is subtle. When you use this negotiation technique you need to be calm and confident that you really do have something the other party does not want to lose.
You can and should load your boss up with all the things that they will lose if you don’t get what you want. The obvious one is that you will leave the company if you don’t get what you want. There are things that your boss loses beyond the inconvenience of the time it takes to find a replacement. The list could include production, clients and relationships that are attached to you, the continuity, time to train the replacement, the unmeasurable nuances of the work environment. The ripple effect that could include other employees leaving. The list can go on but you get the point. As I describe in the Salary Step-Up Series observation and evaluation will help you build a strong argument.
The best way to use this negotiation technique is to build the tension of the loss in advance of the take-away. The way this is done is to prepare the other party through examples of what they want, want to keep and get more of. So if you wanted to make sure your boss would hate to lose you make sure that they are extremely aware of your value. When you are considered critical to the smooth operation of the company the fear of losing you is there when you need it. The other part of this is to make sure you understand your value and the reasons you are negotiating in the first place. Think back to the many times you said to yourself “I need more money” or when you realized that you are struggling to keep up and when sitting down to pay the bills the voice in your head says “I need money NOW!” That voice in your head is just pointing out that you need to get paid what you are worth and that is your motivation to hold firm in the negotiations.
The desire in many people is to make sure that the other people are happy and comfortable. The boss that is constantly concerned that everyone likes them and they are accepted by their subordinates will be easier to get concessions from without threatening to quit than the boss that is more detached from the need for acceptance.
Don’t jump to the take-away too soon or too often. A common response to the fear of loss is to say “well if it was meant to be it was meant to be” this is often said when someone is trying to prepare for the potential of a loss. What I do when I hear that type of comment is to remind them that it does not have to be a loss and that they have the ability to avoid the loss. Use language that makes it clear that if the loss occurs the responsibility is on them. A way to do this would be to say “I really don’t want to leave the company but how do I look my family in the eyes and know that I could provide more for them if I went to a company that is willing to pay me what I am worth. So if you want me to stay, I want you to know that I will continue with my work and results as I have in the past and even better.” This type of statement will make your boss realize that you are clear and comfortable with the decision to leave but that you would rather keep working in your current position.
The take-away technique is not always necessary and can be reserved for a second round of negotiation if you did not get the response that you wanted initially. One important part of this technique is that you stay calm and do not appear emotional when you use it. Also the way you say it, the words you use and your body language is important. The tone of voice should be subdued but clear. Your body language should be confident but not rigid. You want it to convey “calm strength”. The words you use should be chosen in advance and considered for being clear and not aggressive. The threat part of the take-away is in the perception of the boss.
If the boss gets agitated don’t back down. The agitated state is normal and they may not be aware of how they are acting. The key at this point is for you to stay calm and stick to your request. Sometimes the other party has to work through their feelings and that may include feelings of being a bit out of control at this point. This strategy requires you to stick with this negotiation and if at all possible get their agreement at this time. The heightened fear may dissipate if the decision is postponed. Obviously some negotiations require a break so the boss can get approval for the raise. If a valid reason is given to stop the negotiations for a period of time then obviously it needs to happen but if it is not necessary try to push for the concession now.
Your preparation prior to the negotiation will give you the confidence that will maintain your calm-strength so plan and prepare with the techniques you choose to employ and you will get the pay increase that you deserve.
Other career information can be found in the Salary Step-Up Series where you will get the tools you need to to earn money faster at your current job.