Episode 142: Learn Basic Negotiation Skills Never Taught To You From Jim Hopkinson

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Jim Hopkinson SalaryTutor

Jim Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson, founder of SalaryTutor.com, wants to help you learn the basic negotiating skills you’ve never been taught, so you can get what you really want in your career.



He’s the author of Salary Tutor: The Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You and has helped over 17,000 people learn to negotiate better compensation for the work they do.

Jim has always been the kind of guy to do thorough research before he does anything. It’s part of his nature. His skill for research naturally prepared him for each of his salary negotiations throughout his career. He has worked for several different kinds of companies from start-ups to large corporations. He got really good at getting want he wanted from his work.

Now Jim is an entrepreneur and has become an expert negotiator. He has merged his knack for research with countless salary negotiation experiences to teach people how to become more effective negotiators.

Special Offer for UnStuckable Members

Click here to get free access to Jim’s course The Negotiation Mindset. Free to all UnStuckable members!


Key UnStuckable Takeaway

Know what you want before enter any negotiation!

The real key to becoming an effective negotiator is first negotiating with yourself to understand what you really want.

Are you concerned most about your title? Your pay? The job’s location? The daily tasks? Control over your time? Travel opportunities? Start asking yourself lots of questions about what would make you really happy and then you’ll better negotiate each opportunity by aligning them with your needs.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Get control over your morning routine!

Jim believes the key to having a productive day is the have a good morning routine.  (Hal Elrod agrees, listen to his UnStuckable interview on taking control of your mornings.)

Jim gets his day started by exercising, having a smoothie, checking his emails, then having breakfast and finally getting into his work. By starting off your day the same way each morning, you’ll set the tone for how productive you will be for the rest of the day.

UnStuckable Quotes From Jim

“There was no way I wasn’t going to get that job.”

“You need to analyze the full package.”

“I always loved doing this deep dive into finding information.”

“Back then, I was valuable because the information was hard to get.”

“How do you know where to apply if you don’t even know what type of company you want to work for?”

More Habits & Actions

  • Do your research. Jim says that before you enter into any negotiation, you need to do a ton of research. When applying for a job, learn all you can about the company, what someone in your position should be getting paid and the potential growth opportunities for that position.
  • Develop a learning habit. Your formal education might be behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can stop learning. Always strive to learn new skills and concepts, whether it’s a new computer program or another language, learning new things will help you in many ways as your career progresses.
  • Understand what you want. Only you know what it is you want, so be sure to figure that out. It can be a tough process, but the time you spend exploring your needs is worth it. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs or going after clients that you don’t really want.
  • Go for a run or walk. Exercising outside is a great way to get your mind off things and to clear your head. Going for a run helped Jim find out what he really wanted from life. It can do the same thing for you.
  • Consider the other perks of a job besides its salary. Is it closer to home? Is the work more enjoyable to you compared to previous jobs? Does it have great benefits? All of these things should be considered along with your salary when determining whether or not to take a job.

Jim’s UnStuckable Lesson

Know the biggest mistake people make in a negotiation? They don’t negotiate at all! They accept the first offer given to them as if it is written in stone. Jim believes people take the first offer given to them because they have never been taught to negotiate. Become a more effective negotiator by following these five basic steps:

Step 1: Get into the right mindset.

Too many people are afraid to negotiate once they get a job offer because they think they’ll lose the original offer. This is simply not true. Most employers expect people to try to negotiate their salary and some may even be disappointed if you don’t. Don’t feel anxious about negotiating your salary, be excited about it.

Step 2: Find out what you’re worth.

Do your research and know the market rate of the position you are seeking before your first interview. (Try Salary.com) Be sure to get your information about your potential salary from as many sources as you can. The more places you get information from, the more confident you can be about its accuracy.

Step 3: Avoid discussing salary too early in the interview process. 

You may be tempted to ask about the salary offer for the position you are seeking in your first interview. Jim says that it is best to hold off on this as long as you can, so you can demonstrate your overall interest in the position beyond money. Focus your questioning on other aspects of the job first, before moving the conversation toward compensation.

Step 4: Practice and role play your negotiation.

Practice your negotiation and even try it out on others before you actually have to give it. When preparing for a negotiation, break down all the different things you want to talk about. Then practice each part over and over again. It’s not unheard of to practice your negotiation for hours, even though the actual process may only be a few minutes long.

Step 5: Negotiate like an FBI agent.

Jim says there are many negotiation techniques FBI agents use in hostage situations that can carry over to salary negotiations. Tactics like using comforting words, mimicking and prolonged silences can give you an edge in your talks.


Jim developed a simply framework to help you remember what you need to consider before entering any negotiation. Whether you are going for a new job, trying to get a raise or trying to figure out what to charge as a freelancer, you can use a method called M.Y.R.A.T.E to help you figure it out.

Mindset: Overcome your fears and get excited about your negotiation.

Yes or No: Think about what the deal breakers are for you, and understand your priorities.

Research: Always know what you are worth and as much as you can about the other party before beginning your negotiation.

Adjusting: Adjust your expectations based on the other person’s needs. Does this job have better benefits? Will this client lead to future work? Keep your plan flexible, so you can adapt it.

Techniques and Tactics: Remember to use things like prolonged silences and power poses to help you get an edge.

Experience: Each negotiation and job helps you learn so that you can apply that acquired knowledge to future negotiations.




Salary Tutor by Jim Hopkinson

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Smart Passive Income

Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk

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