Posted Aug 17, 2011 10:30 am CDT
When negotiating a salary, you may want to try tactics used by FBI hostage negotiators.
That is the advice offered by Jim Hopkinson, author of Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You. Writing in the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), Hopkinson suggests borrowing these hostage negotiator techniques: using minimal encouragement, paraphrasing, mirroring and pausing the conversation.
He offers this example. You are talking to a human resources representative who offers you $75,000. Respond by saying, “I see. So you’re saying that the salary for this position would be $75,000.” Then pause. Sometimes the person who made the salary offer will rush to fill in the silence and offer a higher amount.
Hopkinson also says job seekers can mimic hostage negotiators by:
• Gathering information ahead of time. Make sure you know what kind of salary is merited for your skills.
• Building trust. Listen to the salary proposal, try to understand the position, then offer your own data supporting higher pay.
• Staying calm. Storming into the boss’s office and threatening to quit isn’t a good idea.
Hopkinson offered more tips in a live chat transcribed at the Wall Street Journal’s blog the Juggle.