Work it Wednesday: Harvey Mackay's tips on sucessful negotiating

7:51 AM, Jul 28, 2010   |    comments
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Harvey Mackay on negotiating

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Harvey MacKay travels the world as an expert in business and leadership.  He's the author of several best-selling books, he's a nationally syndicated columnist, he tweets and he blogs.

Before all that happened, Harvey Mackay was a young man who saw an opportunity to build his own company, MackayMitchell Envelope Company, based in Minneapolis.

Harvey Mackay knows a thing or two about negotiating, whether it's for a big sale, a big raise, or a new job.

"You must, he or she, be yourself," says Mackay, who adds the best way to avoid nerves during any negotiation is to prepare.

"You have to humanize your job search. And by that I mean... I want to know about you.  You're hiring me.  I want to know about your likes, I want to know your dislikes," says Mackay.

In addition to knowing something about the person you are interviewing or negotiating with, Mackay says it's vital to do your homework on the company.

That doesn't mean just searching the company's website on the internet.

Mackay says you must also know that company's competitors. Visit company as well as competitor sites.  See for yourself how they work, what problems they might have.  Understand what solutions you might be able to offer.

"Here's the magical words any HR preson wants to hear," says MacKay.  "I've been doing a little homework.  I've been doing a little research, and I've found out X.  Then tell them what you found out," says Mackay.

It's a technique he believes will turn a candidate into a finalist.

Mackay says it's important to listen to the other person.  Don't be the first to bring up specifics, such as salary.  You could state a number that is below what the company is thinking of offering for the position.

On the 3rd or 4th interview, though, Mackay advises to get down to specifics, including job pay, job title, bonuses, benefits, how you will be reviewed, etc.  Not only is it vital to have everything spelled out before you take a job offer, it's important to have that information in writing for any questions or reviews once you have the job.

If you're negotiating for a pay raise, Mackay says timing is very important.

"You wouldn't do it after you lost the Microsoft account, or anything like that," says Mackay.  "How is your department doing? The timing is key to wait for that."

Mackay also says never walk into a conversation about a pay raise without ample documentation.

He advises keeping an actual log to record your successes, every time you've done something worthwhile for your company or your boss, every time you've volunteered for a project, or performed well in something.

"That folder (had) better weight a pound or two when you go in and ask for that raise," says Mackay.

Number one on the don't list?  Don't bring up a personal or family crisis as rationale for a raise.

"No chance," says Mackay.  "Not from me only, but anyone else around the country, from my experience."

Finally, have a strategy if the answer to your request is no.

"People are not prepared for the turn down," Mackay says.  "Here's exactly how you handle that.  After you get the no, you can say, 'I'd like to discuss, and I hope this is a reasonable request, a time and action calendar as to shen I can achieve my goals, and, incidentally, here are my goals, and we did talk about these when I was hired," says Mackay.




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