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Lessons from a $500,000 Negotiation

By Marty Nemko

I just helped a client negotiate a $500,000 bonus. Looking back, here were the keys to our success; they're relevant even if your salary is modest. First, we focused not on past accomplishments, but on the future: we developed a compelling case that he will add much more than $500,000 in value to the company and that if he leaves the firm, he stands to gain much more than $500,000. Rule: companies pay only to get returns greater than if the employee quit. Finally, we found a respected third party to advocate for the bonus.

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