$$$ — HOW MUCH ARE YOU WORTH in the marketplace?
Have found Salary.com to be a good, fairly accurate resource for all level of compensation EXCEPT executive or senior management level.
Salary.com can be considered accurate for level 6, 7 and CXO jobs if you keep in mind that the income shown for the top 10% represents a starting point for discussion and often less than what many are actually earning.
Income earning potential works a lot like a Bell Curve. If the income distribution for your level of expertise shows $60-85K with $72 being the median then ask yourself: Am I truly a stellar performer? Are there only a few like me? Very few? If yes then shoot for $85K … and when they ask how much you are looking for: $90K would be nice … =^) … this answer gives you room to negotiate because you know your market value.
HOWEVER, if you are just ‘good’ then chances are that your probable income will be around $70-75K … so ask for $80K and negotiate from there.
ABOUT Intelligence (IC/ISR) professionals: have found that the salaries shown for consultants or business services professional is usually a solid number for you. You ARE fish of the day!
Negotiating helps when you speak from confidence! Have found it both OK and even advisable that when someone tries to talk you down in $$$ to say: Gosh, that is a bit less that what the current market is earning. Salary .com shows that the median is $___, and for a strong performer like myself, the upper 10% are earning $___. … Let them know that you know and you have a source for your information.
I love questions!