How to Negotiate A Salary Cut
with Chris Voss
Chris Voss is the former Lead FBI Hostage Negotiator and also one of my all-time favorite people. He wrote Never Split the Difference, the BIBLE on negotiating. If you haven’t read it - you simply must!
I called him in for Job Week because he is an expert negotiator (he literally taught the Masterclass on Negotiation) and I wanted to know how he would react to getting his salary cut! See below for a script from our chat and be sure to watch the full video of our livestream on Youtube if you’re going through this.
BOSS: I am cutting your salary 20%! It’s a hard time. I’m so sorry.
CV: These ARE scary times! Nobody knows what’s going to happen next. You don’t even know for sure if you’re going to keep your job. I am probably lucky you’re only cutting my salary by 20%! I have a crazy question for you: why are you keeping me on at all?
BOSS: When I find talent, I like to hold onto it. And you are talented!
CV: So it sounds like you guys are coming up with a game plan on where we gotta go to get out of this?
BOSS: Yep, I have been in strategy meetings all week.
CV: I appreciate you sharing this with me. How can I be guaranteed to be involved in the projects that will help save the company?
BOSS: Now that I think about it, we could use your help… I should bring you in on these meetings.
**If the conversation goes this direction (and it will if the company wants to retain you), you will no longer have to rely on second hand information to know where the company is going.
+ Be involved in how things go forward
+ Be able to verify whether or not they had to cut your salary in the first place
+ Know when they’re in a position to restore your salary
+ Have been part of the restoration of that salary.
Instead of sitting in the dark, wondering what is going on, you will know what’s going on! And if they’re legitimate, they will want to reward you for helping the company get through the crisis. And if it doesn’t work out, you will have given yourself tremendous lines on your resume about how you tried to help save the company during crisis so it’s a win-win.