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How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email

By |December 02, 2019

You’ve landed a new job or been offered a promotion. Awesome.

How do you get paid more? Use the following subject line and then follow The Black Swan Group’s email negotiation guidelines to write your next salary negotiation email.

How can I be guaranteed to be involved in projects that are critical to the strategic future of the company?

Why not just ask for more money outright?

Salary pays your bills. But terms build your future.

To accelerate your career, you have to break out of the “self-centered” approach to a salary negotiation and transform it into the “us-centered” approach to negotiate more for you via more for them.

Make what you want the path to what they want.

When you ask the above question, your superiors will instantly see you in a different light.  You’re not there to grab the piggy bank with both hands for yourself. Instead, you’re there to build a better future for the company. 

You’re not just ambitious for yourself; you’re ambitious for them as well.

You’ve also just put yourself in the best position for your next performance review (which—just like the annual turn of the calendar—is coming and will be here before you know it). 

At the same time, you’ve also put yourself in a position of visibility to the top echelons of your company. The powers that be are now aware of you. 

You’ve got to want this because it’s an insane hack to be groomed by the top performers in your organization.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Negotiate your best salary yet by following these 5 tips »

The Black Swan Group’s Email Guidelines

The Black Swan Group’s email guidelines include three rules:

  1. Set it up
  2. Land it
  3. Finish positively

Remember: Less is more. 

If you were playing chess via email, you wouldn’t list all of your planned moves in your first message—would you?

To set it up, you want to preempt any potential negatives.

It’s like a mini accusations audit in the body of the email that goes something like this: I’m sure this is probably going to seem self-centered.

Next, you’re going to land it, like this: How can I be guaranteed to be involved in projects that are critical to the strategic future of the company?

Finally, you finish positively: It’s my goal for everyone who’d be involved in the decision to hire me to look back on it with pride 10 years from now. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be considered at all. I’d be lucky to be selected. 

This is the Oprah Rule. The last impression is the lasting impression. It sets up the next interaction. 

Plan for the negotiation process to take up to three negotiation interactions. Remember: Terms make the deal. Salary pays your bills. But terms build your future.

The Black Swan Group’s Job Guidelines

You’ll also need to consider our job guidelines.

Question No. 1: Is the job for you?

This is as much an audition for them as it is for you. The wrong job is blood money, and it’s never worth it. It ages you prematurely and keeps you from where you should be. Avoid the wrong job at all costs.

Question No. 2: Is the culture for you?

Are they a learning culture? Do they live their values? Do they actually know their values?  How are they growing their team? How competitive are they internally (which really means this: How much do they reward back-stabbing).

Question No. 3: Are they for you?

Who is across the table? What sense do you get for how they feel about each other and the organization? How is being there building each of their futures?

Question No. 4: Will it build your future or keep you from it?

Answer this question for yourself honestly. The prediction is that 40 percent of the Fortune 500 will be extinct in 10 years. Gone. Dead. Forgotten.

The causes? Poor leadership, bad culture, and not living their values—or even knowing what they are. 

The right job, company, and culture will accelerate your life, your happiness, and your prosperity. The wrong one will make you miserable and prevent you from reaching your full potential—or at least delay your arrival.

Good luck!

Tips to Negotiating Your Best Salary