Negotiating salary is a hot topic since news broke that half of U.S. professionals fail to do so, accepting their first salary offer and leaving money on the table.
Negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon shared tips with LinkedIn and offered up the No. 1 secret that will give you the upper hand in any talk:
The person with the greatest negotiation power is the person who appears to have the ability to walk away from the deal.
"If you don't yet possess confidence, fake it," she advises. "Eventually you'll grow into your own power without having sacrificed raises and promotions along the way."
Pynchon said the appearance of strength is key, given the majority of professionals today believe they are in the weaker position when it comes to negotiating any deal.
Other key tips:
Don't apologize. "Apologizing in the negotiating room lessens the weight of your argument. Stay away from saying things like, 'I’m sorry to ask for this, but I feel that I deserve a raise.' " she notes.
Don't discount yourself. "Don't discount your worth right out of the gate with language like, 'My rate is $5,000, but I'll take $10,' " she says.
Don't accept the first offer. As the recent CareerBuilder study showed, companies expect you to negotiate. When faced with the initial offer, Pynchon advises replying something to the effect of, " "I appreciate your proposal. I did a little research on my current market value [handing the proposal over] and it's 10 percent (or 20 or 30) more than that."
If you can throw out the first figure, make it more than you're willing to take. Aim high.
Don't say "No" when you're at an impasse. "No" leaves little room for flexibility in the negotiation. Pynchon advises the following: "If your hourly fee is $350 but a potential client tells you he can only pay $200 per hour, instead of saying no, ask 'What stands in the way of paying my fee?' Feel free to offer accommodations like payment over time or consider bartering services if that's possible. Always be moving toward getting the deal you want."