Ten Things Never To Say While Negotiating A Job Offer
In this new-millennium talent market we are all learning how to sell. We are learning that a job search is a sales and marketing process.
If you get to the end of a recruiting pipeline and you get a job offer that is too low for you to accept, don’t get mad. Don’t be miffed or affronted. Mother Nature is tapping you on the shoulder. You missed a step somewhere.
Unless the people you’re dealing with are unethical people who looked you in the eye and said “Yes, for the right person we can pay $80K” and then offered you $60K for the job and told you “Take it or leave it!” you missed a step somewhere.
You have no time for unethical people, so there is no sense in negotiating with a hiring manager who tells you “I know we talked about $80K but I couldn’t get that much budget, so I’m making you this massively-discounted job offer, instead.”
He or she should have told you about that earlier, before dragging you through the entire interview process! Walk away from a bad deal like this, because it cannot get better once you take the job.
Most of the time your manager is not trying to jerk you around, but your expectations and his or hers may have gotten confused. You’re going to get your hiring manager (not a recruiter or HR person) on the phone and talk live with them about improving your offer so that you can accept the job.
You’re going to explain how excited you are to begin your new job, if only you and your future boss can figure out a way to bridge the gap between what you need in a compensation package and what has been offered to you.
While you are negotiating with your possible next manager, be careful about a few things.
You may feel insulted that the company’s job offer was low, but that shock to your system represents valuable, free sales training for you! Don’t get upset about it. If you feel upset, you should walk away from the job opportunity altogether.
If you want the job as long as you and your manager can come to terms, then start a conversation about that — but be careful not to say any of these ten off-putting things.
Ten Things Never To Say While Negotiating A Job Offer
This offer is very surprising.
You can’t say this for two reasons. Reason One is that you didn’t get your salary expectations and your manager’s salary expectations out on the table earlier or this lowball job offer situation would never have happened. You can’t accuse the employer of having misled you or walked you down the garden path.
Who cares if you are surprised, if we are honest? Your emotional reaction has nothing to do with the question “Are you and this job a good match at this moment?”
The second reason you can’t say “I’m surprised the offer is so low” is that by saying that, you’re making the negotiation personal when it is actually a business transaction. No one who makes you a lowball offer is trying to insult you or put you down.
Your salary offer is very low for someone with my experience.
How will insulting the employer after they insulted you help you? It won’t help. Either they know the market or they don’t. You didn’t make the case for your value during your interview process and no one is slamming you for that, so don’t slam the employer for being out of step with prevailing salaries.
Just talk about bridging the gap between the offer you received and the offer you will be able to sign.
Let’s do this deal – you’re going to be happy you hired me!
Don’t go there. They already made you a job offer. Begging for a pay increase in a salary negotiation is no better than begging for the job itself. Talk about the size and scope of the pain you are joining the organization to relieve, rather than about your own fabulousness.
If your hiring manager is nervous about going back to the VP and asking for another ten thousand dollars in salary to pay you, your self-praise won’t make that conversation any easier.
I’m a really hard worker — I’ll do the work of two people!
This is grovelly and it doesn’t work. Your leverage in any negotiation is your ability to walk away. When you beg for the job at an increased level of pay you are still begging and that is not your best negotiation strategy.
I earned the salary you’ve offered me back in 1996.
This is not the employer’s fault. If you think they are cheapskates then walk away. If you stick around to negotiate, talk about their pain and your value, strictly. What you earned in any past year is completely irrelevant.
I will offer you extra things (working on weekends or taking on an additional project) if you give me the salary I’m shooting for.
This is a terrible strategy. A full-time employee is presumed to be offering his or her best and most concerted work whenever he or she seeks a full-time job. There is no “standard” versus “premium” edition of you as a staff member. Don’t invent one! You only diminish your own value when you talk about going above and beyond the offered position to justify a higher pay rate.
I can give up benefits and/or vacation time in order to help bridge the gap between your offer and my minimum salary.
Never offer to give up vacation time or other benefits, including medical benefits. You are worth what you are worth without having to sacrifice time off or employee benefits to get paid fairly.
Give me the salary I seek, check out my work for six months and if I’m not doing a great job, fire me!
They will fire you with or without your invitation to do so if they don’t like your work, so this offer has no value whatsoever.
I can’t pay my bills on the salary you offered me.
Irrelevant and desperate.
Try this instead: “I’d love to be able to accept this job, and if we can bridge the gap between your salary offer and my salary requirement, we’re in business!”
If you can’t improve on this offer, I’m going to have to walk away.
Try the positive approach instead of the negative one: “I’m excited to get on board and start working on projects. Can we get creative together on the phone right now and figure out a way to let me sign the offer letter and get going?”