Negotiating a salary increase after a promotion can be tricky. The negotiating method you use to approach the negotiations, will directly affect your chances of success. A promotion, when awarded, is a form of recognition, and should be considered a very positive indicator from the employer. However, it’s important to recognize any lines in the sand before you cross them.

Salary increase issues

The promotion doesn’t necessarily mean there’s much on the table for discussion, unless the promotion was given with the understanding that the salary would be decided through negotiation. The employer will be prepared to negotiate, but you need to do your homework before entering into negotiations or making any solid proposals. There are some useful benchmarks you can use to help you decide your offer:

* Market rate: The average salary for a similar position. This is a benchmark rate which is well within reasonable levels for discussion. It also shows you a bandwidth of upper and lower levels of salary.

* Prior salary of the position: Some positions, like sales, are contract based. Negotiations are a natural mechanism of deciding about the value of the position. The prior salary may be a very useful starting point for negotiation.

* Salary increase proposals: Based on the assessment of the requirements, salary increases can be negotiated. This type of salary offer has some negative aspects, due to the potential for a significant increase in cost to the employer.
Negotiation tips

Negotiations can only be conducted effectively on the basis of mutual receptivity. Many times, parties to a negotiation may create insoluble problems by their inability to find common ground. That’s not where you want to be in salary negotiations.

* You must listen to and understand the basis of the employer’s position. If you don’t understand the reasoning behind the employer’s offers, you may not be able to successfully negotiate anything.

* You must consider on merit any counter offers. Don’t be casual or dismissive or create a counter offer on the basis of a single figure. The employer may be offering a better deal over time, or things of value which you need to check.

* Bear in mind at all times that your salary offer involves the employer’s expenses. This is a particularly sensitive area, and you must base your offer on a reasonable cost level over time. Some amounts simply can’t be considered.

The employer must see a working business proposition, in order to negotiate. If you produce a clearly reasonable offer, with no unacceptable expenses, you’re on the way to successful negotiations. Be sure to begin your negotiations by considering their point of view and costs. Then, write down your ideas about salary. There will be a meeting ground between the two if you are flexible.
By Robin Ryan on CV


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