1. Career Advice
  2. Pay & salary
  3. Learn how to negotiate a salary over the phone. With 9 tips!
Learn how to negotiate a salary over the phone. With 9 tips!

Learn how to negotiate a salary over the phone. With 9 tips!

Artwork by: Aleksander Kostenko

  • Benefits of negotiating via phone 
  • 9 Tips for negotiating a salary over the phone
  • 1. Do your homework
  • 2. Don't talk numbers until you know all the details
  • 3. Be polite, positive, and respectful
  • 4. Know your value
  • 5. Keep emotions out of the discussion
  • 6. Ask questions and be ready to answer their questions
  • 7. Don’t feel forced to decide on the call
  • 8. Get it in writing
  • 9. Be prepared to turn down their offer
  • Sample script for negotiating salary over the phone
  • A few points to keep in mind when negotiating a salary
  • Is it better to negotiate in person or over the phone?
  • How do you politely say the salary is too low?
  • Should I negotiate salary with HR or hiring manager?
  • How can I negotiate salary without losing my job offer?
  • Key takeaways

Maximize your earning potential and secure the compensation you deserve with these 9 tips on how to negotiate salary over the phone

Congratulations! You got a job offer for an exciting new role. After the long, draining process of job searching and interviewing, it’s time to celebrate this win. You’re probably eager to start your new job, but not too fast. Before accepting that offer, be sure to negotiate your compensation to maximize your earning potential.

While negotiation typically includes in-person meetings or email exchanges, opting for a phone negotiation can be intimidating, but it can offer some unique advantages. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the salary discussion via phone, don’t worry. 

This article provides insight on how to negotiate salary over the phone. We’ll cover:

  • Benefits of negotiating via phone 

  • 9 tips for negotiating salary over the phone

  • An example script for negotiating over the phone

  • Frequently asked questions 

Benefits of negotiating via phone 

Even in today’s internet-driven world, talking to someone on the phone is still one of the top ways to communicate. This goes for negotiating salaries too. 

Phone negotiations offer several advantages. Firstly, they provide flexibility in scheduling, allowing both parties to find a convenient time for discussion without the need for physical meetings.

Additionally, phone conversations facilitate direct and focused communication, enabling concentrated discussion on the terms of the offer. Furthermore, real-time feedback and clarification are possible during phone negotiations, as questions or concerns can be addressed immediately.

Although it may be uncomfortable, don’t be put off if your potential new employer wants to discuss your salary over the phone.

9 Tips for negotiating a salary over the phone

Negotiating is standard practice, and employers expect it. It shows you are self-confident and willing to advocate for your position. In fact, a recent article from Indiana University, said that 58 percent of young professionals do not negotiate their job offers; however, 87 percent of those who do negotiate receive additional compensation.

So, if you’re not sure how to go about negotiating, follow these nine tips. 

1. Do your homework

Be sure to investigate salary ranges in the overall market and at the target company to thoroughly understand the economics of the industry. This not only includes base salaries and monetary compensation but also non-monetary compensation. You should also take into consideration the geography and cost of living as most companies base their pay ranges on where the company or worker is located. 

2. Don't talk numbers until you know all the details

Never jump into talking about money until you understand the full compensation package. Ask for details about insurance, bonuses, perks, and other benefits. Once you know the full scope of what you’ll be getting, then you’re ready to negotiate. Also keep in mind that you can negotiate anything, not just the salary. All compensation and benefits are on the table.

3. Be polite, positive, and respectful

Always be professional and show respect to anyone you’re dealing with. It’s okay to express gratitude for the opportunity and their willingness to negotiate. Maintain a cheerful and positive attitude throughout the negotiations. Let them know you're completely open to the discussion and would like to make a deal. 

4. Know your value

Be prepared to explain to them why you're worth what you’re asking for. Have concrete examples from your resume that demonstrate the value you are bringing to the role. Back up your argument with metrics, research, data, and trends based on your credentials, experience, and industry standards. 

5. Keep emotions out of the discussion

The last thing you want to do in a negotiation is get emotional. Emotions can lead to bad decisions or inappropriate reactions. Neither positive nor negative emotions will make your negotiations go well. Keep your emotions in check. Remember, this is business. 

6. Ask questions and be ready to answer their questions

This goes back to the preparation step. If you’ve done your research, then you should have a set of questions ready. You should also be able to react to their comments and ask clarifying questions throughout the discussion. 

7. Don’t feel forced to decide on the call

When you seem to be concluding the negotiations, don’t just jump at their final offer. Take some time to consider it carefully. Any reasonable employer is going to allow you some time to consider their offer. But don’t wait too long and give them a date that you’ll respond by. Give yourself at least a day, but a few business days, at most, is typical. 

8. Get it in writing

Once your negotiation discussion is completed, make sure you get their offer in writing. Don’t verbally agree to anything until you do. This should be acceptable and expected by the employer. No smart business agrees to anything until they have a written contract. 

9. Be prepared to turn down their offer

As with any negotiation, you must be ready to walk away. This gets back to knowing the market and what you’re worth. Have a minimum offer in mind and if they don’t meet it, then reject the offer, thank them for the opportunity, and move on. This may not be the best outcome, but if you’re not ready to turn them down, you’ll end up in a deal you’re not happy with. 

Sample script for negotiating salary over the phone

Want to see how this could play out in an actual phone call after you receive a job offer? Check out this example script.

  • Applicant: Hello, I’m excited about this offer and would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I’m looking forward to learning more about this role at [Company Name]. In particular, I’m fascinated by your current project on [description of project related to role]. I’ve reviewed the job offer, and I was wondering if you could clarify a few details for me.

  • Hiring Manager: I appreciate your enthusiasm. What can I tell you more about?

  • Applicant: I’ve reviewed your benefits package and that’s comprehensive and straightforward, no questions there. As for the base salary, can you let me know how that was determined?

  • Hiring Manager: We’ve conducted some market research, and HR has determined the salary range we can offer. Then, we customize our offer depending on your skills and experience.

  • Applicant: That’s helpful. I’ve looked into this, and I’ve found someone like me with a Master’s degree and PMP certification usually makes a little more. Also, you can see that I’m already well-versed in this type of role, as I’ve [specific achievement(s)] at my former company. Based on this, I was hoping we could discuss the possibility of a higher base salary.

  • Hiring Manager: That is definitely a possibility. What did you have in mind?

  • Applicant: I think a base salary of [$$] better aligns with my experience. Would you be able to meet me around there?

  • Hiring Manager: I think we could work with that. Let me consult with our team and HR and get back to you.

  • Applicant: Thanks for looking into this! If you could follow up with an email, I’d appreciate it and will respond within two business days.  

A few points to keep in mind when negotiating a salary

Is it better to negotiate in person or over the phone?

Whether to negotiate in person or over the phone depends on personal preference and circumstances. Phone negotiations offer flexibility and efficiency, while in-person meetings allow for more personal interaction.

How do you politely say the salary is too low?

Express gratitude for the offer and highlight your enthusiasm for the role, then tactfully explain your concerns regarding the salary, citing market standards and your qualifications. 

Should I negotiate salary with HR or hiring manager?

Ideally, negotiate salary with the hiring manager, as they typically have more authority and insight into the position's budget. However, if HR handles salary matters, engage with them professionally. 

How can I negotiate salary without losing my job offer?

Approach salary negotiations diplomatically by emphasizing your interest in the role and your desire to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Clearly articulate your reasons for seeking adjustments while maintaining professionalism.

Not sure how much you should be negotiating for? Check out our Salary Analyzer to figure out how much your skills are worth on the current market. 

Key takeaways

  1. Negotiating salary via phone offers flexibility and efficiency compared to in-person meetings or email.

  2. Research salary ranges, understand the full compensation package, and be ready to justify your worth with facts and data.

  3. Keep emotions in check and take time to consider offers carefully; don't feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.

  4. Be prepared to walk away if the offer doesn't meet your minimum requirements.

Share this article