What’s Your Salary Expectations?

Everything was going well, you were on a roll. You had quick and well thought answers to every single question. Even on the tough ones, you were swift and on point making yourself look as sharp as possible in the eyes of the interviewers. Emotionally stable, firm stance, eye contact and a great appearance, you really thought everything through! And then, the burning question comes: “What is your salary expectations?”

That’s when the vibes in the air change. Your breath stops. Your palms start sweating. You are beginning to get a little nervous and uncertain. You understand the importance of this moment. This is a make or break situation and you know that the next words coming out of your mouth will either put you through the door, or slam it to your face.

So how do you tackle this question in a job interview? How do you prepare yourself for a situation like this? What are the key words to use in order to have the best desirable outcome? Should you aim too high and then bargain your way through, or should you go for a low salary to guarantee you the job, but at the risk of making yourself look cheap and replaceable?

The answer comes again from the field of sales. If you have been following this blog, one of our latest blog posts was “The #1 Secret in Sales”, which was talking about the value in every transaction. Unfortunately, the majority of companies think in terms of “How much will this cost me?” rather than “How much will I make out of it?”. This is a story of how I handled this situation in an interview I recently had, reference a senior position in Sales and Marketing:

The interview was going excellent for about an hour discussing the in and outs of the organisation, my set of skills and expertise, and how we could combine everything together. Inevitably, the burning question was raised: “So what are your salary expectations?”. It took me a moment to shift out of my relaxed phase, and get back to my more serious business mode. They were waiting on a figure. Now, I knew from before that they offered little money, but it didn’t bother me. In my mind I said that those figures they were offering, were not for me.

I replied with a question of my own: “Can I ask you, how have your sales department been doing this year?”. The question caught them a little bit off guard, but they opened up by saying that their sales have not been up to expectations this year. I continued by saying that the reason for that, is because the package they offered could only attract entry level sales people, with limited to no experience.If the goal is to skyrocket your sales, you need to bring in sales people from the top shelves like myself. Professional sales people are attracted to numbers. Give a good package with a good bonus scheme, and see how your roster of sales people will immediately change.Their next question was “How would that package look like?”, and that’s where I laid out my terms and conditions.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, adding value is the most important factor in every transaction. Don’t fall in the trap of throwing numbers around until you feel you have said out and made them understand the value you can bring in to the given situation.

I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed.

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