Aug 19, 2020
Thanks for tuning in to the second episode of our conversation with Kate Dixon, the creator of Pay UP: Unlocking the Secrets of Salary Negotiation. On our last episode, Anthony discussed all things salary from the perspective of the sales organization. They touched on the generation of a package, commission versus base pay, retention, relationships with sales representatives, and more. Today, Anthony and Kate are shifting their point of view to that of a sales professional. How do you negotiate a compensation plan? What are the first steps to approaching that conversation? Find out this and more on today’s episode of Catapulting Commissions.
When we’re thinking about starting a job search, Anthony and Kate discuss the first steps you can take to prepare yourself for an upcoming negotiation. First and foremost, Kate says, is to get clear on what’s important to you in a compensation plan. Do you value having the ability to blow the ceiling off your sales commission? How much weight does vacation time play for you? These are all things to consider when looking for a new position. Secondly, and equally as important, is having a “floor.” This is the minimum you feel you would need to take the job. When you’re crafting that minimum, research is certainly crucial--there are tons of online sources you can use to get a sense of what a respectable plan could look like. Have conversations and know your worth. It’s not about how valuable you are as a person, it’s how a company values that role. It’s okay if it’s not a match--it’s better to find out earlier than later.
There are two types of salary negotiation: there’s offering a job to someone, and there is the kind of negotiation where someone is already working at the company who feels they may be in line for more compensation.
When a job is being offered, it’s the consensus among sales recruiters that getting a ballpark in the open early in the conversation is the way to go. It doesn’t make sense to waste everybody’s time if there is a complete disconnect. Expectations regarding salary may not come up in the first conversation, but the second is a good time to be prepared to state what you want or bring it up more passively.
If you’ve been with the company for an amount of time, and you feel as though the value you bring is worth more to the dollar, approaching a salary conversation can be complicated. The key, Kate says, is to really lean into your value. Come with a list of achievements and impacts! Lead with what good you’ve done, and demonstrate your commitment to the organization. Bring up your research and how it relates to your target salary. It’s about emotionally disconnecting and making the sale. You can be collaborative and still be firm without being threatening. Kate encourages people to lay the target on the table and see how close “we” can get to that. Avoid saying “meet in the middle.” Don’t cheat yourself! As Kate puts it, “There’s no harm in asking. There’s harm in being a jerk about it.” You are selling yourself and the value you bring. People make decisions based on the pain you can help them avoid and the pleasure it is to have them on their team.
Anthony and Kate shift gears into startups. They are popping up exponentially all over the country. If you’re ready to shift into something like that, it’s important to realize the balance between equity, commission structure, and base salary. Startups are often difficult to get off the ground, but they need exceptional salespeople. They’re a great way to express your values in a meaningful way. Don’t settle for nothing--while equity COULD be valuable, it could be worthless as well. Whenever negotiating with a new company, be sure to understand what happens in every scenario. Oftentimes we can be sold the dream without thinking about it first.
What you’ll learn
In this episode, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of pay negotiation from the perspective of a sales leader. Kate breaks down how to start the conversation, how to approach a negotiation, and some pitfalls to keep an eye out for.
Connect with Kate:
Her website: https://katedixon.org/
LinkedIn: Kate Dixon, Coach