January 31, 2008 0 comments
Here's an ideal scenario:
You impressed someone who offers you a job of your dreams, you're again meeting this person again and he or she gives you the job offer, with a salary below what you had expected. But what if the offer is unacceptable to you? If it really is one of your dream jobs -- or even simply a job you really want -- you should consider moving into the negotiation phase by making a counter proposal to the employer.
Handle this poorly and you'll not only negatively impact the offer you get, but could actually knock yourself out of the running altogether!
You were called for the offer, you will never know exactly what the manager is thinking about offering you.
So don't guess or try to be overly involved in this process. Set things up for them to do all the work so that you can avoid the following traps.
If you say you want more than what they are thinking about offering , you will turn them off.
If you say you want substantially less than what they are considering. They may think you are desperate (or worse...they may actually offer you that!)
What I'm looking for is the most competitive offer. I'm hesitant to give you an exact # because I'm not sure what you think I'm worth and how I'd fit in with the compensation structure of the rest of the team. So, I guess this is a better question to ask of you.....What do you think I might be worth to your organization?"
"While money is very important, the opportunity within the position is really my #1 consideration. If we agree there's a match, I'm confident that you'd offer me the most you felt that I was worth."
What do you think I might be worth to your company?"
If every company just made their BEST offer the first time, we wouldn’t see so many “bidding wars” (which are headache for everyone).
You'll have your greatest negotiation leverage between the time the employer makes the original offer and the time you accept the final offer. Once you accept an offer, you have little to no room to negotiate
You’ll have more power to negotiate when the field of candidates has been reduced to just you -- when the employer is completely sold on you as the best candidate for the position.
- Don't negotiate at the time the initial job offer is made. Thank the employer for the offer and express your strong interest and enthusiasm in the job, but state that you'll need time to evaluate the entire compensation package.
Most employers are willing to give you a fair amount of time to review -- and if you run across an employer who wants a decision immediately, consider long and hard whether you want to work for such a company.
- Do your research. The greatest tool in any negotiation is information. Make sure you have done a thorough job of determining your fair market value for the job you are seeking, the salary range of the job for this specific employer, and geographic, economic, industry, and company-specific factors that might affect the given salary. Also try to obtain information on the employer's standard benefits package so that you have information beyond salary.
It is very important how the position is called and your line of responsibilities. If you a Director, so you have more room to make decisions, and your salary will be decent. If you have some manager over you, you have much less room for negotiations because you will be given tasks, but someone else will to decide and you are to follow.
- Negotiate to your strength. If you are a smooth talker (an extravert), call the employer and ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss a counter proposal. If you communicate better in writing, follow our guidelines for writing a counter proposal letter (below).
To me, I am very good at writing as every writing takes time and thoughts to put things in a nice way. I also am a very good speaker, but in person. I cannot do any negotiations by phone because this freaks me out. Money and the title are the most important things - at least to me. The higher the title the better. So I feel miserable when someone offering me any Executive Assistant title. And people may not even know it.
I remind myself of a Sun Wukong, Handsome Monkey King when we are talking about titles.
His first title on heavens was a head of the Heavenly Stables when he first went to Heaven. But when he found out that it had no rank whatsoever, he left the post in anger. From then on, he always hated it when anyone called him. When he returned to Flower Fruit Mountain after leaving his post as Bi Ma Wen, two single-horned demon kings came to him and suggested that he take the title of Great Sage Equal of Heaven. Wu Kong was very receptive of this idea and called himself by that title from then on. Afterwards, when he defeated all the Heavenly generals sent to capture him, the Jade Emperor (ruler of Heaven) gave him the post of Great Sage Equal of Heaven to placate. Anyway we are not arguing whether Money King actually has any job to do, but he was anyway very rich and agreed to work for free for the title.
- Always ask for a higher salary (within acceptable limits) than you are willing to accept so that when the employer counters your proposal, the salary should be near your original goal. And when possible, try and show how your actions (once on board) will recoup the extra amount (or more) that you are seeking -- through cost savings or increased sales revenue, productivity, efficiencies.
I will ask a salary for 10% higher then they propose, and then move on to other elements of the job offer.
To me, I personally prefer contracts. You never know what kind of opportunity may arrive. If I am a manager and get an offer as a director, I will not think a second. I will take an offer with more responsibilities. So if I have a contract, I feel that my employment is at will and based on the project. This way I feel I can request more money later when my project is successfully implemented.
When presenting a counter proposal to the employer, be sure and include a few benefits that are expendable so that you can drop them in a concession to the employer as negotiations continue.
I also think that counter proposal is a great tool because sometimes you can offer something in addition of your skills and ask for more responsibilities.
- Never stop selling yourself throughout the negotiation process. Keep reminding the employer of the impact you will make, the problems you will solve, the revenue you will generate. And continue expressing interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company.
If you have no intention of accepting the company's offer, don't waste your time or the company's by entering into negotiation. Negotiation is a process designed to find common ground between two or more parties.
If you have multiple job offers, don't put the companies into a bidding war for your services; it rarely works out.
- Don't enter negotiations with the wrong attitude. Always have in the back of your mind that your goal with these negotiations is a win-win situation. You want to get a better deal, but you also need to let the employer feel as though they got a good deal as well.
I think it is natural to have a wrong attitude. It is one thing that you are working with a friend, then yes. People get together discuss strengthens and weaknesses and agree on a compensation.
You need to make someone who hires you to be sure not as a money-saving asses, but as a liability. And I always think that life is not perfect, but is fair. God created universe and made good things for good people and bad things for some people who like to suffer. However, life is not perfect and things get messed up. So I believe I need to really fight to make people give me what I am worse.
I was always surprised how people with less abilities ad strength make more then other very talented individuals. So the secret is that these people could not survive if they were not users. They will always find someone more capable to do a job. So I think if you are capable, then you need to prove t and fight for it. Nobody will never get you anything as a gift - no matter how smart you are, how marketable your skills are. Keep in mind, one day this may all change once you open your business. Then you really can apply your talents and you will have nobody to blame if something goes the way you have not expected.
7. Never make demands. Instead, raise questions and make requests during negotiations. Keep the tone conversational, not confrontational.
Another thing to overcome is how employer will accept your counter proposal. Be prepared for any of a number of possible reactions to your counter proposal, from complete acceptance to agreeing to some concessions to refusal to negotiate.
You have to be willing to walk away from negotiations. If you don't have a strong position (a good current job or one or more current or potential job offers), it will be harder for you to negotiate. If you really need or want the job, be more careful in your negotiations. But in my opinion is better to show who you really are then play a role who you are not. The situation is to come. I tried to get positions when I just came to US to do some supporting role. In this case if you find a problem, you are the problem. No matter how good you play, people will see that you do not belong to this position. And another thing if you are a doer and you really stuck when you cannot make decision because somebody from a chain of authority is higher and stuck at the level of his/her incompetency, you fucked. Sooner or later you will feel so miserable, so you will just decide to leave. No matter how you love this business, no matter how many friends you have in the company So this is very dangerous to accept something that you much above. Besides, people actually respect you better when they pay you more money and you can work smart, not hard.
Once the employer agrees to your compensation requests, the negotiations are over. You cannot ask for anything more -- or risk appearing immature or greedy and having the employer's offer withdrawn or rescinded.
8. Always be sure to get the final offer in writing. Be extremely wary of companies that are not willing to do so.
Note: one advantage of writing a counter proposal letter is that you list the terms of the offer in your letter.
Wishing you luck and being positive!