SURVEY: Did you negotiate your first MSL salary? N=1604

Lot's of new MSLs wonder if they should negotiate on their first MSL offer. Should you be just happy and sign, ask for a bit more and see where it gets you, of go hard on them?

Below we captured 4 top tips on how to maximize your salary negotiation. Feel free to comment if we missed anything.

  1. Be factual and use actual salary data.
    Research industry salary trends and evaluate what you have to offer when negotiating your salary. If they ask for a number, quote your research data and say "... based on my research (quote resources) and speaking to MSLs and recruiters, a salary UP TO $xxx would be a market conform salary for this type of role and my experience level...". And then be quiet and let them speak.
    If they offered you a contract, and you are in the counter offer phase, make sure you don't over ask. It can insult them, if they believe it was a great offer. Keep in mind, some of the smaller companies have smaller budgets, and their offer can be 10-20% lower than the average. If it is a low(er) offer, you can counter with "...based on salary survey data, MSLs and recruiters I spoke to the starting MSL salary is up to $XXX, there is a $XX difference, is there anything we can do to somewhat reduce that difference?"
    Of note, your geographic location (e.g. London, NY, Paris), prior work experience/salary, managerial experience, education level, career level, skills, licenses and certifications can all influence your salary (in addition to years of MSL experience, of course). Click HERE to see the latest MSL salary survey:
  2. Ask questions to clarify!
    Examples of questions include:
    “What is the budget of this position based on?”
    "Before I can answer what salary I am looking for, could you please tell me more about (the position and) the expected salary range or bracket?"
    ”What information do you need from me to make a decision?"
    ”How flexible is the company on the salary range? And if not, are there other negotiables available besides salary?"
  3. Be flexible
    Keep in mind Salary Package is more than just base salary. There are a lot of other aspect of the contract that can be negotiated (that are either cash or value) such as sign-on bonus, yearly bonus or STI, stock options, car allowance, company car, health insurance, extra annual leave/holidays etc. But he, some say, cash is king!
    When being approached for your second/third MSL role, you could say; “Salary is not the only reason for considering this position (but it does have an impact and I don't want to waste your time. Currently I would consider an MSL career move when the salary is above $XXXX base salary. Does that fit within your/their budgeted salary range for this role?”
  4. Lead with gratitude
    Once you reach the job offer phase of the hiring process, you’ve probably invested a great deal of time and energy applying and interviewing for the position. The employer has also invested time in the process, so it’s crucial you recognize this and thank them for considering you for the opportunity. Always be friendly and courteous to the person, while going harder on the numbers. Be sure to share any specific reasons why you’re excited about the job, such as the culture of the company, the team or the product. They want to hear your excitement. They don't want to hire someone who is not excited!



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