The salary negotiation is a crucial part of the journey to joining a business organization. Having a plan will give you an upper hand and prevent regrets later. The latitude to negotiate varies based on medical sales jobs and work experience. That being said, certain tactics can work in your favor and provide you satisfaction.
1. Know your market value
You may have an idea of how much you should be paid in that position but want to confirm the numbers before you enter a salary negotiation. For starters, you’ll want to know how much you should be earning based on your job title, work experiences, skills, and location. The MedReps’ salary calculator is a useful tool to know your income potential.
Many business and HR heads plan yearly salary increases, while median salary also rises annually. Being aware of the latest salary trends will help you judge whether the salary being offered is something you can work with. You’ll also be able to narrow down to a number. Get relevant information on Payscale.com and Med Sales Salary Report.
2. Don’t share your salary expectations
During pre-screening, recruiters will attempt to understand your salary expectation. Rather than making it known, you’re better off not sharing it at all. Instead, be clear you expect a salary commensurate with the value you bring to the company. Framing your expectations this way will get recruiters thinking and revising their number, particularly if you’re a medical sales rep with considerable skills and/or experience.
Another reason you may want to avoid stating how much you want is if you’re underpaid in your current job. Anchoring it with your current salary is likely to work against you. There’s also a legal angle – in many U.S. states, it’s illegal to ask how much you were making in your last role. It’s well within your rights to keep your salary private during the medical sales recruitment process.
3. Request time to think things over
Once you get the job offer, ask for time so that you can plan your salary negotiation strategy. It will change based on their offer, your minimum salary requirement, and other factors like remote work flexibility and other perks and benefits. Responding within the day is difficult. So, thank them for the offer and request a few days’ time to get back to them. Also request a brief summary of the numbers, so you can work off the right figures.
The job offer will be made over the phone but you should respond over email. Negotiating over the phone creates room for miscommunication and clumsy wording that can get in the way of bettering what may already be a pretty good job offer. With email, you’ll have the chance to get your counteroffer across accurately and more persuasively.
4. State a number rather than a range
Indicating the salary range for a position is common in medical sales recruiting. But making a counteroffer on a range will only put you at a disadvantage. For example, if you make a counteroffer in the range of $158,000 – $168,000, there’s a good chance the recruiter will settle on the lower number in the range. They’re likely to persist with the lower value since it was, after all, you who suggested it!
Avoid this trap and go with a round figure. Not a range or ballpark, but a definite number that sticks. That means $165,000 and not $165,300.
5. Be prepared to respond quickly
If the organization is keen to move the medical sales recruitment process along quickly, they will expect you to respond within a day or two. This is where it can get a bit tricky, which underscores the importance of planning ahead. At this stage, you will have a clear idea about whether their offer is good enough to take up or can be better, in which case you need to state your case firmly.
Convey that you’re aware of the reasonable salary for the particular medical sales rep job and your work history. Reiterate what makes you uniquely suited for the role and the value you bring. Express hope that you can work on reaching a realistic and typical salary for the situation.
6. Be certain about what you want
You can be reasonable about your salary expectations without having to leave anything on the table. Knowing what ‘getting paid enough’ means for you will allow you to understand the results of your negotiation. For example, are you looking for a higher base salary or a better incentive plan or bonus structure? Are you willing to make some concessions if they mean more work flexibility? Medical sales rep jobs involve quite a bit of traveling. If working remotely and traveling occasionally works better for your family situation, would that impact how much the company is willing to pay you? Consider all factors to drive a realistic request.
7. Demonstrate neutrality
It’s worth paying attention to the psychology of medical sales recruiting and how it might affect salary negotiations. Responding enthusiastically to the company’s first offer can create perceptions that further discussions aren’t really required and put the company at an advantage. Remaining neutral will give you more leverage during the negotiation.
8. Explore ways to improve the job offer
What would a medical sales rep going the limit ask for to get the best possible offer? For example, a sign-on bonus, termination benefits, or spot rewards? Get ideas from market research reports, forum boards, and your professional contacts.
9. Know when to walk away
If, despite your best efforts, the recruiter does not align with your ask, avoid sticking around hoping they will come around. Respectfully decline the offer and continue your search for an employer who understands your worth. Take heart in the fact that you made a strong case for why you deserve what you asked for and engaged with humility and grace.
Salary negotiations don’t always work in your favor. Reflect on what you could have done better. Note the willingness of employers to negotiate various parts of the job offer. Thinking back on your experience will help you become a more effective negotiator.