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The Phone Call That Could Boost Your Paycheck! How to negotiate salary over the phone

How to negotiate salary over the phone: A step-by-step guide


Today many crucial conversations, including salary negotiations, happen over the phone. While face-to-face discussions are ideal, phone negotiations are often the next best alternative. However, negotiating your salary over the phone comes with its unique set of challenges and nuances. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure you're well-prepared to negotiate your worth confidently.



Black telephone in a red booth
Make the call!


Why Choose Phone Over Email for Salary Negotiations

I've always emphasized that if you must negotiate away from face-to-face discussions, the phone is probably your next best alternative. Email should be your last resort due to the potential for misunderstandings and misinterpretations.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Laying the Foundation from the First Contact


Remember, your negotiation with a potential employer begins from the very first contact. Throughout the interview process, you've been laying the groundwork. You've discussed how you can enhance the company's position, be it through boosting revenue, improving customer retention, or increasing profitability. You've also posed insightful questions to gauge the urgency of the role and understand the challenges the company faces.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - The Backbone of Your Negotiation


Before you even pick up the phone, arm yourself with data. Websites like Indeed, Levels.fyi, Team Blind, and H1B data.info can provide invaluable insights into salary benchmarks. However, when discussing your desired salary, avoid starting with "based on my research." Instead, confidently state your expected salary range.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Determining Your Salary Range


When determining your salary expectations, consider three figures:

  1. Dream Number: The salary you'd ideally want. More of a pie in the sky number.

  2. Desired Number: A realistic figure based on your research and experience.

  3. Deal Breaker Number: The absolute minimum you'd accept.

In your negotiation, present a range where your desired number is the lowest. Keep your deal breaker number to yourself, knowing that if an offer falls below this, you'll need to consider alternative options.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Articulating Your Value Over the Phone


During the phone call, reiterate how hiring you will benefit the manager and the company. Emphasize that you are the solution to their problems. When stating your expected salary range, be prepared to back it up. If asked, you can offer to send a one-pager via email that showcases comparable salaries for professionals with similar experience in the industry and location.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - The Power of Silence


After presenting your number, pause. Let the manager respond. This silence can be a powerful tool, compelling the other party to fill the void, often to your advantage.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Negotiating Beyond the Base Salary


If the manager's counteroffer is below your desired range, this opens the door to discuss additional perks. Perhaps they can't meet your base salary expectation, but they might offer professional development opportunities, additional annual leave, or other benefits that align with your lifestyle and financial needs.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Protecting Your Future


If you're transitioning from a long-term position to a new company, consider discussing a severance package. This provides a safety net in the event of unforeseen layoffs, ensuring you're not left in a vulnerable position.


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Before You Dial: Final Tips


Before initiating the phone conversation, take a moment to center yourself. Deep breaths can calm nerves and help you articulate your value confidently.


Negotiating a salary over the phone does not need to scare you - with preparation and confidence, you can effectively articulate your worth and secure a compensation package that reflects your value. Remember, you're a champion, and champions know their worth and fight for it!


If you want more coaching on maximizing your value, get the audio guide here (it's Free!)


How to negotiate salary over the phone - Sample Script


Manager: Hi Neena, thank you for your patience. We've reviewed your application and interview feedback, and we're excited to extend an offer to you. The starting salary we're proposing is $180,000 annually.


You: Thank you for the offer. I sincerely appreciate it.


Manager: You are welcome! We are very excited to welcome you to the team.


You: I have thrilled to be given the opportunity to make an impact. Based on my experience, I know I can deliver the customer retention metrics you are trying to hit. Since I can hit the ground running, I am requesting my salary in the range of $190,000 to $210,000.


Manager: I understand where you're coming from. However, our initial offer is based on our budget and the salaries of current employees in similar roles.


You: I completely understand budget constraints and will remain flexible. From our previous discussions, I gathered that improving customer retention and boosting top-line revenue are critical challenges for the company. With my expertise, especially in data visualization, I believe I can significantly contribute to addressing these challenges. For instance, my data insights experience can enhance our team's presentations, making our pitches more compelling to potential clients. I am thrilled with the challenge of contributing towards the company's goal of expanding the client base.


Manager: That's a valid point. Your skills would indeed be valuable in that aspect.


You: I'm glad you see the potential impact I can bring. I've also consulted various sources, including Indeed and Levels.fyi, to understand the salary benchmarks for this role. While I won't base my entire negotiation on these figures, they do provide a context. If it helps, I can share a one-pager that outlines comparable salaries for professionals with similar experience in our industry.


Manager: I appreciate your preparation. Let me discuss this with HR and see what we can do.


You: Thank you. I appreciate your support.


Two days later


Manager: I am happy to let you know that I was able to get an additional $5k annually and beyond that I have no more wriggle room.


You: Thank you. Again I am very thankful for your support. And this is exciting progress. Since we were not able to get to the low end of my desired range, I'm open to discussing other compensation aspects. Perhaps we can look into professional development opportunities or additional annual leave. It's essential for me to ensure that the entire compensation package aligns with my professional and personal needs.


Manager: That's a fair request. Let me discuss this internally, and I'll get back to you with a revised offer.


You: I appreciate your understanding and flexibility. I'm genuinely excited about the potential of joining the team and making a positive impact. I look forward to hearing from you soon.





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