How to Negotiate Salary over the Phone [13 Tips]

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The hard part is over; you’ve aced your interview and been given a job offer. Congratulations!

Now comes the tricky part: negotiating your salary package to make sure you’re getting what you deserve. This is even more difficult if you are negotiating over the phone. So what should you do when that phone call comes?

First, you need to acknowledge that negotiating your salary over the phone is NOT easy. In fact, it’s very different from negotiating in person. Keep in mind that on the phone, you don’t have the luxury of using body language or facial expressions as tools of persuasion. You can’t even use them to see if you are touching the right spot in your negotiation.

So, everything you want to say has to be expressed verbally – in the right tone, or else it could go wrong. To successfully negotiate salary over the phone, you need to have a proper game plan and strategy ready before making or receiving that very important phone call. 

In this post, we will explore everything there is to know on how to negotiate salary over the phone. Let’s dive in!

Can You Negotiate Salary Over The Phone?

The short answer is yes – you can negotiate salary over the phone. However, it’s not ideal, considering the weight of the matter being discussed. Under normal circumstances, you’d want to interact with the person you’re negotiating with face-to-face. 

While negotiating salary over the phone is possible, it does pose some challenges for both parties involved. A survey by Clutch shows that 67% of hiring managers and recruiters said they prefer to negotiate salaries in person, while only 8% said they’re okay with negotiating over the phone.

This is because negotiating over the phone, in many ways, removes the human element of negotiation — that personal touch that allows you to build rapport and trust with the other person. Plus, it can be harder to read the other person’s reactions over the phone, making it more difficult to gauge their true feelings.

Should I Negotiate Salary Over Phone Or Email?

Yes, person-to-person negotiations are better and will be more successful nine times out of ten. But there are certain circumstances under which negotiating over the phone or by email may be your best option. 

For example, when you’re in the final stages of the negotiation process and both parties have agreed on most of the key points. At this point, it makes more sense to conduct a final call to negotiate salary instead of scheduling more meetings, which may not be possible for both parties. 

An email is also a great way to start the negotiation process. It allows you to present your case clearly and concisely without the pressure of having to speak on the spot. You can also take your time to craft a well-thought-out email, which will give you an edge in the negotiation process.

Benefits of Negotiating a Salary over the Phone or Email:

  • It can be highly convenient, especially when you’re not available to meet in person. 
  • It can sometimes be less awkward than doing it in person, especially if you’re not comfortable with the idea of haggling over money.
  • You have more time and space to present your case. You can also carefully consider your responses to any questions or concerns raised by the other party.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to negotiate over the phone or by email depends on your situation and what works best for both parties. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a trusted career advisor or hiring manager for their professional advice on the matter.

What do you say when negotiating salary over the phone?

Most job seekers don’t know what to say or what to talk about when negotiating for a salary, whether on the phone or face to face. In fact, most of them avoid negotiating altogether because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. For example, a recent study found that only 28% of job seekers even bother to negotiate their salaries

But if you’re armed with the right information about what to say during a negotiation, you can be more confident in your approach and, therefore likely to get the salary you deserve. 

While there is no one set answer on what to say when it comes to negotiating salary over the phone. Most hiring managers and recruiters will expect you to come prepared with questions and talking points. 

So it’s important that you do your research ahead of time and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from the call.

Here are a few tips on what to say when negotiating salary over the phone:

  1. Thank them for the opportunity: – Begin by thanking them for the chance to discuss your salary, and express your enthusiasm and excitement at potentially joining their team. 
  2. Be clear about what you want: – When asked about your salary expectations, be clear about what you’re looking for without giving a specific number or range at this point. Always be as honest as possible. Avoid inflating or under-selling your past salaries or expectations, which can reflect poorly on you during the negotiation process. 

For example, you can say something like, ” I’m currently earning a salary of XYZ per year, but I’m looking for something in the range of ABC per year.” 

  1. Ask questions about the job and company: – While this isn’t directly related to salary negotiations, it can help you build rapport and trust with the person on the other end of the line. Asking questions about the job, company culture, and team can also signal that you’re genuinely interested in the role and not just the salary. 
  2. Answer any Questions Asked: – If the recruiter or hiring manager asks leading questions to try and pin you down on a specific number, try to remain calm and professional while sticking to what you want. If they press you for a salary range, give them a broad range that’s acceptable to you. 

Overall, what to say when negotiating salary over the phone depends on your specific situation, as well as what works best for you and the recruiter or hiring manager. But if you’re prepared with the right information and come into the call with confidence and professionalism, you can successfully get the salary you deserve.

Check out the key points from this negotiation book we reviewed: Book Review: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

13 Tips On How To Negotiate Salary Over The Phone

While salary negotiations over the phone are not that common, they can occur from time to time – especially if you’re applying for a job that’s located in another city or state. If you’re ever put in this situation, here are a few tips on how to successfully negotiate salary over the phone.

1. Don’t Jump into Accepting Before Seeing The Whole Deal

Most job seekers are so happy to have gotten a phone call that they’ll happily accept the first salary offer given to them without even asking for more. Some think it’s not ‘appropriate’ to negotiate or that they might lose the job offer if they try. 

This is a mistake! The truth is, if a company has offered to take you on, they obviously think you have something to offer and are willing to pay you for it. So why not try to get them to pay you what you’re worth? 

You may be surprised at how successful you can be and how much more money you could potentially earn. So, before you accept any offer, take some time to evaluate it first. See what other benefits are on the table and make sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth.

2. Research, Research, Research

When it comes to phone negotiations, knowledge is power. You need to be armed with as much information as possible before getting on the call. This means knowing what the job is worth, what your skills and experience are worth, and what the company can afford to pay you. 

The best way to do this is to research similar positions at other companies and see what they’re paying. You can also use salary calculators to get an idea of what your skills and experience are worth in the current market. A study by Paysa found that the average tech worker is underpaid by $7,000, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before getting on the call. 

You should also find out what the average salaries of the company are. This way, you’ll have a good idea of what they can afford to pay you and what their budget is for the position you’re applying for.

3. Prepare your Talking points

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to start preparing your talking points. This means figuring out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. 

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a salary of $80,000, but the company is only offering $70,000. In this case, you might want to say something like, “I understand that your budget for this position is lower than what I’m asking for. But based on my research and experience, I believe that a salary of $80,000 would be more appropriate.” 

It’s also important to have counterarguments prepared in case the recruiter or hiring manager comes back with a lower offer than what you were expecting. Instead of getting angry or defensive, try to stay calm and constructive.

4. Rehearse with a friend

One of the best ways to prepare for phone negotiations is to rehearse with a friend or family member. This will help you get comfortable with the process and allow you to make any necessary adjustments. 

When you’re rehearsing, be sure to practice your tone of voice and body language. Remember, the person on the other end of the line can’t see you, so it’s important to project confidence through your voice. 

It’s also a good idea to have a script handy so that you know what to say. This can be especially helpful if you’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed.

5. Be Confident and Professional

When you’re on the phone, it’s important to sound confident and professional. This means using a clear, calm voice and avoiding any fillers such as “um” or “like. These filler words can make you sound nervous and unsure of yourself, which is not the image you want to project in a salary negotiation. 

It’s also important to be assertive without sounding aggressive. This means being firm in your requests and not backing down, but also being respectful and polite. Avoid getting into a heated argument or raising your voice, as this will only make the situation worse. 

A recent study suggested that showing professionalism in an interview setting can lead to a higher salary offer, so it’s definitely something to keep in mind when negotiating over the phone.

6. Avoid Giving a Number First

When the conversation turns to salary, it’s important to avoid giving a number first. The person who gives a number first is usually at a disadvantage, as it gives the other person a starting point to work from.  

If you give a number that’s too low, you could end up selling yourself short. If you give a number that’s too high, you could price yourself out of a job. Instead of giving a number, you can try deflecting the question or simply saying that you’re open to discussion. 

For example, you could say something like, “I’m open to discussion. What were you thinking in terms of salary?” 

7. Make a Counteroffer

Once the company makes an offer, it’s time to make a counteroffer. If you’ve done your research and know what the job is worth, you should have no problem making a fair and reasonable counteroffer. 

It’s important to remember that you’re not just negotiating for a higher salary. You’re also negotiating for better benefits, such as health insurance, vacation days, and more. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. 

When it comes to making a counteroffer, the most important thing is to be confident. Remember, you’re worth what you ask for, so don’t sell yourself short. 

8. Never Reach a Decision on the Spot

When the company makes an offer, it’s important to avoid making a decision on the spot. This gives you time to think about the offer and decide if it’s really what you want. 

It’s also important to remember that you can always negotiate later if you’re not happy with the initial offer. So don’t be afraid to ask for more time to think about it. 

The bottom line is that you should never accept an offer that’s less than what you’re worth. If the company is not willing to meet your expectations, then it’s probably not the right job for you. 

9. Don’t Forget to ask Questions

In addition to negotiating for a higher salary, it’s also important to ask questions about the job and the company. This shows that you’re interested in more than just the money and that you’re thinking about your long-term career. 

Some good questions to ask include: 

  • What are the expectations for this position? 
  • What are the opportunities for growth and advancement? 
  • What are the benefits and perks? 

Asking questions also shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and that you’re genuinely interested in the job. So don’t be afraid to speak up and ask away. 

10. Have something In writing

If the phone negotiations go well and you’re able to reach an agreement, it’s important to get everything in writing. This way, there’s no confusion about what was agreed upon, and you have something to reference if there are any issues later on. 

The written agreement should include the salary, benefits, start date, and anything else that was discussed and agreed upon. Once you have the agreement, ask them to send something over so that you can sign and return it.

11. Be prepared for objections

During phone negotiations, it’s common for the other person to object to your requests. For example, they may say that your salary expectations are too high or that the position doesn’t come with certain benefits. 

When this happens, it’s important to stay calm and confident. Remember, you’re not going to get what you want if you don’t ask for it. So don’t be afraid to stand your ground and continue to negotiate. 

Of course, there will be times when the other person is not willing to budge. In these cases, it’s important to know when to walk away. If you’re not happy with the offer, then it’s probably not the right job for you.

12. Don’t Mention Personal Needs

When you’re negotiating salary, it’s important to avoid mentioning personal needs. For example, you shouldn’t say that you need the job to pay your bills or that you have debt. 

This is because it puts the other person in a position of power and makes them less likely to negotiate in your favor. So instead of mentioning personal needs, focus on what the job is worth and what you bring to the table. 

This blog post could help you too: How Not to Ask for a Raise [Never Do These 9 Things]

13. Be thankful

Even if the phone negotiations don’t go exactly as you wanted, it’s important to remain positive and be thankful for the opportunity. After all, they did call you back and are interested in hiring you. 

So thank them for their time and let them know that you’re still interested in the job. From there, you can continue to negotiate until you reach an agreement that’s acceptable for both parties. 

Go Get the Compensation You Deserve! 

Negotiating over the phone can be tricky, but it’s definitely doable if you know what you’re doing. Just remember that this is just like a normal salary negotiation, so you should still do your research ahead of time and be yourself. 

So don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and always remember to be confident. If you follow the tips in this guide, you’ll be sure to land the salary you deserve.