The employee or job seeker negotiating his salary often makes the most basic mistakes that almost all inexperienced negotiators make: they think only about themselves and their own interests when negotiating the salary. This strategy is a certain route to failure. The employee or job seeker must do the opposite, i.e. focus more on the employer than on himself.
The employee or job seeker must look upon himself as the president of his own corporation, where the service sold is the labor of the salary negotiator. Adopting this view means to force oneself to apply the commercial thinking of any commercial leader.
What is a company doing? What is the main business of any company? Many would answer: a company is selling a product or a service. This is wrong! The company is satisfying the needs of the customers. It is because there are needs – and not products – that there are markets. The product is of secondary importance. The product only serves to satisfy the identified needs. It is when the company is good at satisfying needs that it can charge a high price for the product.
Let’s translate this basic commercial thinking to the “corporation” of the salary negotiator. What this corporation is doing is to satisfy the needs of the employer. The solution or product offered to satisfy this need is the labor of the salary negotiator.
In order to make the solution – i.e. the labor – as attractive as possible, the salary negotiator must seriously analyze the interests of the employer. The salary negotiator must all the time – both during the preparations and during the salary negotiation – take the perspective of the employer and look upon himself from the employer’s point of view. It is when the salary negotiator can present himself as the answer to the needs of the employer that he can start claiming a really high salary.