There are many ways to negotiate salary effectively. The key is the confidence that you offer value and can make the company money, save them money or increase their efficiency. Here are some examples to answering the question:
Before we discuss salary, I would like to learn more about the company and the position, you have not decided yet if I am the right fit and I haven’t yet decided if this is the opportunity for me.
Being such a reputable and successful company, I am certain you pay your talent according to what they are worth.
I am interested in finding a job that is a good fit for me. I’m sure whatever salary you’re paying is consistent with the rest of the market. In other words, I respect myself and I want to think I can respect this company.
I have conducted a sufficient amount of research to know what I am worth (given my experience, skills, education, and geographic location) in the marketplace and I have shared just how much I bring to a company.
I have no problem with a lower front-end incentive and a higher back end incentive as I know that if given a chance you would never be disappointed that you made the right choice.
I realize you need to be sure my expectations are consistent with the salary range for this position. To ensure that we’re aligned, please tell me your range for this position.
I want an opportunity to prove myself and grow with a company such as yours. That being said salary is not a concern, the opportunity is and I am willing to do whatever it takes to show you I am the right person for the job.
I was paid well in my last (or current) position. The number was in line with market conditions and the results I delivered. I’m very interested in this opportunity, and I’ll be happy to discuss my compensation history when we determine that I’m the right person for the job. I can also assure you that because of my experience I will only perform better for your company and as such believe that the contributions I make will more than enough to justify a great salary.
I’m reluctant to focus on just one factor at this stage, when other factors affect what makes an opportunity a great fit. What’s more important to me are the position, the company, the people I’d be working with, and growth potential. So far, I’m impressed with what I have learned about this opportunity and I remain very interested in learning more! I would like to postpone discussing the salary until we have both determined a fit.
In the grand scheme of things, a company that is growing hires talent in order to continue growth. I have the utmost confidence in my ability to surpass every expectation of this company and if I can increase overall revenues by X, my salary should not be a deterrent or deciding factor in the decision-making process.
The salary question is a trick question, if I give you a figure that is too high, I will shoot myself in the foot and eliminate myself as a candidate and if I give you a figure that is too low I am undercutting my worth and might get an offer below the range or below the significance of my contributions to the overall company strategy in ensuring I help this company make more money, save more money or increase efficiency.