What Matters Most to You in a Negotiation?

Posted November 27, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

ManagingAmericans.com recently ran an article called “Prepare for a Tough Negotiation” and one key point stood out most to us here at Career Girl Network. Check it out:

Be prepared to anchor what matters most to you.

Do internal research, too, to determine what matters most to others in your own organization. When you know what the terms need to be, you will be in a position to make the first offer and anchor any counter-offers that follow. For the most important terms of the agreement, it is usually better to make the first offer.

Thanks, ManagingAmericans.com, because far too many people neglect this point in their negotiations. You go in and you try to negotiate salary alone, but what’s most important to you might not be salary. Consider this, for instance. You’re offered a salary of $50,000. You really wanted to be paid 10% more at $55,000. So you set out first and to negotiate only your salary without considering the fact that the company offers a 5% 401K match for qualified employees. Sure, you want to negotiate, but you’re essentially getting that 5% raise you wanted. For this reason, you might consider negotiating for additional vacation days or better benefits rather than harping strongly on salary.

But you need to be able to know first and foremost what your anchors are, and secondly, how you’re willing to add up the benefits to get your anchors. Look at all the options, but you have to be willing to see just one or two anchors, and flexibility around them, rather than a negotiation of every point in the package.

Here’s another anchor scenario. Assume a company wants to move you across the country, but they’re only willing to pay you 5-10% more than you’re already making. Is that enough to get you to move? You need to consider moving costs an anchor in your negotiations. Will the company cover them either entirely or with a signing bonus? Anchor relieved!

Keep your anchors front and center, and work your negotiations around them. It will make all the difference.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."