Book a Demo

How To Negotiate Salary Effectively With These 7 Tips & Phrases [Podcast]


Looking for advice for your next salary negotiation? You’re in the right place! In this article, you will find 7 easy-to-apply salary negotiation tips, together with 7 helpful phrases that will help you sound more like a native-English speaker. Keep reading to get all the tips, and scroll down to read the transcript.

7 Tips on How to Negotiate Salary

Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or you’re just open to the possibility, you want to be ready should the occasion arise. A survey by revealed that only a third of people always negotiate their salaries, while 18% never do (and the number is even lower if we only talk about women)! The biggest reason for not asking? Fear. Start feeling more confident with the following tips. 

1. Focus on creating value and ‘Expanding the Pie’

One of the most powerful assumptions you can bring to negotiations is the belief that the pie of resources is not fixed. The mythical-fixed-pie mindset is a metaphor that represents the belief that the counterparty’s interests and priorities are in direct opposition to your own interests and priorities – simply because there is one unique pie and the more slices the other party gets, the smaller your share will be. It leads us to think that negotiations always end up in a win-lose. ‘Expanding the Pie’, on the other hand, indicates that if both parties work together to get a bigger pie (to expand it), then both can have more in the division.

2. Understand the other person

Negotiations are all about influence. But to be able to influence the other person, you have to understand them. Practice genuine active listening, build trust, and try to understand their true interests, their underlying reasons, and their concerns, as well as their constraints. Perhaps HR cannot give you a 10% higher salary, but they can give you additional PTO, wellness packages, or dental insurance. The better you understand their interests and limitations, the more likely it is that the negotiation will end in a win-win situation.

3. Know your value and help them understand it

Remember to include benefits as part of your total compensation. Understand your leverage – your negotiation power will also depend on your current situation. Together with your proposal (flexible working hours and 10% higher salary), build a story around it that clearly shows why your request is justified. Keep in mind how to best communicate your message without sounding arrogant.

4. Stay polite, grateful, and likable at all times

During a negotiation, the fear of coming across as demanding or ungrateful is often present. It’s okay to stand for what you feel and play hardball when appropriate, but always remember to stay polite, understanding, and thankful for the opportunity. Whatever you do during a negotiation, make sure that it makes you more likable (doing otherwise will reduce the chances that the other side will make an effort to get you a better offer). Being likable goes beyond being polite. Avoid seeming greedy, avoid attacking the weaknesses of the other party, be a good listener, be authentic, and always try to find common ground.  Another way to be more likable is by asking for advice. Once you’ve made your point and presented your proposal, ask, “I trust you, and I’d very much value your recommendations. What would you suggest?” Adam Grant recommends. If you need time to evaluate an offer, it is totally fine to sleep on it. Appreciate the offer, tell them that you need to think about it, and schedule your next meeting within 24-48 hours with your counteroffer ready. 

5. Practice your pitch

Practice makes perfect! Find someone to listen to your proposal and arguments for your salary negotiation – whether it is a good friend, your spouse, or a business English teacher, and practice the wording, the cadence of your speaking points, and your tone. Much of your success will depend on how comfortable you feel, so rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

6. Prepare some helpful expressions and questions

Learn useful expressions for negotiations (listen to the podcast and download the vocabulary PDF) and prepare some helpful questions:

  • Is this offer negotiable?
  • How did you calculate this number?
  • What metrics do you use to evaluate the success of employees?
  • Can I get the salary offer in writing?

7. Prepare answers for tough questions

Anticipate potential tough questions and prepare answers for them. This will help you avoid being caught off-guard. If you are prepared, you will be more likely to say exactly what you mean, in the right tone. The goal is to always give an honest answer, without giving up much bargaining power (sometimes this may involve not laying all your cards on the table). Write down your answers and read them out loud several times. The goal is not to learn them by heart, but to be confident enough if you need to say them.


Keep improving your business English

Keep developing your workplace communication skills with Talaera. We will create a business communication program tailored to your needs and interests.

Unlock Professional Opportunities - Talaera

Interested in getting the best offers and receiving free content on Business English communication? Subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you in the loop with offers, free events, and learning materials! 

Talaera Talks – Transcript Episode 13

If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform:

listen-on-spotifylisten-on-apple-podcasts listen-on-google-podcasts

Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we’re going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!

Hello, my name is Simon, and welcome back for another Talaera Bit. So today we are going to be talking about this salary negotiation I recently had, oh, I need to tell you about it. Basically, I thought I was going to go in and meet with my boss and the HR representative and I was going to play hardball with my salary for next year. I had a clear line drawn in the sand in terms of what I wouldn’t go under for my salary number next year. But after speaking with my manager and my HR representative, we started to find some common ground. Usually, my boss around salary negotiations wears a really straight poker face. I never know what she’s thinking. But this time, she came in and said, ‘Listen, I’m just going to lay my cards on the table and tell you what the situation is this year.’ She was very honest. And even though I was weighing another offer, I really appreciated how she approached the negotiation. She even told me, ‘Simon, why don’t you go home sleep on it. And then we’ll discuss it tomorrow after you’ve really had time to think about it.’ So that was it. I was weighing another offer. But at the end of the day, I decided to stay with my company and still go.

Now we’re talking about salary negotiations. And there’s a lot of really good useful English expressions around this. The first one I mentioned was to play hardball. So when you’re playing hardball and go into a negotiation, you’re trying to be firm and determined, in order to get what you want. If you play hardball, you’re not giving anything in you’re being very, very firm.

I said that I was gonna go in and draw a clear line in the sand. So here is where I’m talking again about I’m setting a very clear limit on what I’m willing to do or accept. So around salary negotiation, I could say, I’m drawing a clear line in the sand of a certain number that I won’t go under.

To find common ground is basically to come to a sort of agreement or understanding around some opinion, or some common interest. To find common ground in a negotiation doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily agreeing on everything. But you’re starting to find some common interest or commonly shared opinions.

I said that my boss… She usually wears a very straight poker face. Now we all know that Lady Gaga song, right? Poker Face, right? So what does that mean? When we’re talking about a poker face is a blank emotional expression, right? And this gives no indication of what you’re thinking or what your intentions are. So if you say someone has a poker face in a negotiation, they’ll say the number and then you won’t see any expression on their face. I know. Personally, I’m not very good at holding a poker face. The kind of intensity of the situation just makes me start laughing. So I’m never good at holding a poker face.

To lay all your cards on the table, I talked about how my boss came in, and instead of wearing the poker face, she just laid all her cards on the table. This is where you’re just being completely frank or honest. It’s where you may reveal something that you would have kept hidden, such as certain intent emotions or opinions, you’re just being completely honest, to lay all your cards. If you think about it, when you’re playing a card game, you hide your cards right for the strategy of the game. But when you lay your cards on the table, you’re just being totally open and honest.

Now, I said also, I was weighing another offer. So if you think about weighing, like weighing on a scale, you’re really considering an offer from a different group, you’re weighing something. If I tell them, ‘Listen, I’m going to lay my cards on the table and tell you that I’m weighing another offer.’ It means I’m being honest, I’m being very honest with you that I’m weighing another offer.

They were very nice though. And they told me to go home and sleep on it, to sleep on it. Now, this is a good expression you can use not just when we’re talking about negotiations or anything like that. But just in general, if you ever have a big decision to make, it’s usually best to sleep on it, which means to go home. And yeah, literally that don’t make a decision until you have a good night’s sleep. And then usually in the morning, you have a better and clearer idea of what you need to do.

So these were our phrases and idioms for this week around salary negotiations. And I hope wherever you are, if you are going into a salary negotiation, whether you’re playing hardball or laying your cards on the table, it all goes well for you.

So again, thanks for tuning in for another Talaera Bit. My name is Simon, again, keep on subscribing and liking our content wherever you are. It helps us to grow and spread out more of these episodes that you can enjoy. So thank you! Have a great day. And wherever you are, keep learning.

And that’s all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We’ll be back soon with more! And visit our website at for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

See All Episodes - Talaera


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *