Why You Should Never Negotiate Your Salary Over Email

Why You Should Never Negotiate Your Salary Over Email

Why You Should Never Negotiate Your Salary Over Email

Buckle up, folks. We’re about to embark on a journey through the wild world of salary negotiations, where anxiety spikes, tongues get tied, and every statement feels like a high-stakes poker move.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, I can sidestep all that stress by just firing off an email, right?” Oh, dear reader, it’s tempting, no doubt. Who wouldn’t choose the comfort of hiding behind a screen, thoughtfully crafting responses, over direct confrontation?

Well, the problem is, that’s the coward’s way out! Okay, not exactly, but this form of salary negotiation probably won’t do you any favors. Scratch that – it definitely won’t. I’m so sure of it that I wrote a whole article about it. Read on.

11 reasons why you shouldn’t negotiate your salary over email

1. Emails lack tone

First off, let’s face it: emails are cold. They lack the nuances of spoken conversation, the intonation, the inflections, the warmth that can make a difficult conversation a bit more bearable.

Misunderstandings abound as people read (and misread) the tone. You could end up coming off as demanding or rude when you’re just trying to be assertive.

2. Non-verbal cues go missing

Negotiation is a dance, and body language forms a crucial part of it. In an in-person or video chat, you can use body language to display confidence, gauge your boss’s reaction, and adjust your pitch accordingly. All of that’s lost in an email.

3. Real-time adaptability is off the table

When negotiating face-to-face, you can respond to objections instantly and adapt your strategy as needed. With email, not only is there often a delay in responses, but you also don’t have the chance to read the room and adapt your approach on the fly.

4. Relationship-building opportunities are scarce

Discussing salary in person or over a call allows you to build rapport with your manager, and build necessary negotiation skills. Emails are transactional by nature and offer little opportunity for personal connection, which could hurt your negotiation chances.

5. Emails leave a paper trail

Ever write an email in a fit of frustration, then instantly regret hitting send? Imagine doing that with your salary negotiation. Plus, your words can be shared, forwarded, and stored away for future reference – not always ideal.

6. Delay and avoidance

Emails are easy to ignore or put off. Your carefully drafted negotiation email could sit unanswered in your manager’s inbox for days or even weeks, whereas a face-to-face meeting demands immediate attention.

7. The risk of the email getting lost

Despite being a cornerstone of business communication, emails can still get lost, marked as spam, or overlooked in a cluttered inbox. An important conversation like salary negotiation getting lost in email limbo is not a risk you want to take.

8. Greater likelihood of getting a ‘No’

While it’s easier for you to ask for a raise in an email, it’s also much easier for your manager to say ‘no’ in one. The lack of direct confrontation makes rejection less awkward, hence more likely.

9. Limited negotiation space

Negotiations often involve back-and-forth discussions and finding middle ground. Email tends to truncate this process, making it more binary—either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. The subtleties and nuances of the negotiation process simply can’t thrive in an email environment.

10. Less room for emotional connection

Emotions play a pivotal role in decision-making processes. When negotiating in person, sharing your aspirations, challenges, and the reasons behind your request can create an emotional connection, which could sway the decision in your favor.

Email, on the other hand, is a less emotionally resonant medium. Put simple: you won’t be able to rely on those puppy dog eyes to get you what you want.

11. Difficulty in addressing complex issues

Salary negotiation isn’t always straightforward. It may involve discussing complex issues like job responsibilities, future growth, or benefits. Such multi-faceted conversations are better handled face-to-face, where immediate clarification can be sought and a richer dialogue can occur.

Final word

All right, although it may feel like entering a lion’s den, face-to-face salary negotiations are worth the momentary discomfort. Even though the safe cocoon of email provides an illusion of control, it can rob you of vital tools that enhance communication: your tone, body language, and real-time responses.

Ultimately, salary negotiation isn’t just about numbers. It’s about you, your worth, and how well you can convey that to your employer. It’s a direct, human-to-human conversation where the full spectrum of communication shines.

So, next time you’re thinking about taking that email shortcut, remember these pitfalls and opt for a chat instead.