Negotiate Your Salary Like a Millionaire

SMU Business Professor Robin Pinkley is among those providing tips on how to better negotiate your salary.

Becoming a millionaire isn’t about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth or catching a lucky break. For the 10 million members of the seven-figure club, a job, small business, or investments were the primary wealth drivers.

Nearly two-thirds of millionaires say their wealth is largely attributable to their jobs, a PNC survey found. Maybe that’s because most Americans who earn six figures (like millionaires) haggle over their salaries, according to a study by By contrast, 59% of all U.S. workers settle for the first offer.

Beat hiring managers to the punch

There’s a school of thought that says job seekers should wait for interviewers to reveal a salary range, to avoid asking for too little or too much. By waiting, though, you’re ensuring the negotiations take place within the company’s range. Instead, throw out a figure first, says Robin Pinkley, management professor at Southern Methodist University and co-author of Get Paid What You’re Worth.

“The first number becomes an anchor” around which the haggling begins, she says. Start with compensation data from and PayScale. And see if anyone in your network knows people at the company to get a better sense of pay there. “You want to find the highest number you can defend,” says Pinkley.

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