Handling Post-Offer Negotiations
Episode #10 of the course How to find a dream job and get hired by Ryan Lecour
Welcome to the last lesson of the course!
The company’s pain is a huge point of leverage for you. Up to this point, you hopefully have uncovered and made obvious how much the company needs you. You want them to know that you know that they know how much they need you—in a subtle way, of course. The final way to do this is with your objection-handling skills. We’re going to get into this here.
As mentioned yesterday, you must have a plan for each offer scenario. In other words, you want to have a clear game plan for an acceptable offer and clear counter-negotiations for anything moderate or unacceptable. It is imperative to have these planned out in advance. Sometimes a discussion about the offer and whether you accept can catch you off guard.
Your Response to Any Offer
In all three scenarios, my advice is to be excited about receiving the offer but never accept the offer on the spot. Always ask when the deadline is for returning the signed offer.
If the offer is generous, there is no need to rock the boat. I’m not advising you to try to squeeze out more in this event, because that, of course, could be taken as an insult. Therefore, don’t wait more than a day to accept the offer.
If the offer comes in as moderately acceptable, counter with something along these lines:
“Thank you so much for the offer! I’m excited to get going and show what I can do with ABC Company. This is a good offer.
“Based on my research, however, I did notice that candidates with my qualifications are being offered closer to $95K with stock options and signing bonus. I would be remiss to not ensure my compensation is in line with the market and therefore would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further.”
If the offer is unacceptable:
“Thank you so much for the offer! I’m excited to get going and show what I can do with ABC Company. However, this is not quite in the ballpark I was expecting.
“From my research, I noticed that candidates with my qualifications are being offered closer to $95K with stock options and signing bonus. I would be remiss to not ensure my compensation is in line with the market and therefore would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further.”
Important note: Resist the urge to keep talking after you come back with your response. When you get nervous or start rambling from the pressure of the moment, you lose! You’ll need to understand this for when it comes time to handle objections—which, based on what you may have just said, is going to be right about now.
How to Handle Negotiation Objections
The key is to have a reason for countering and continuing the negotiation each time. Don’t just arbitrarily throw numbers around—tell them why you are bouncing back. Generally, DM objections to salary negotiations fall into one category. I call it a Limitation Frame (LF).
They will tell you they have limitations that are outside of their control. These limitations can come in various forms—budget, economy, policy, internal equity, etc. I have used all of these at various times as a recruiter in order to manage candidate offer expectations.
Generally, your rebuttal can also fall into one category. I call it a Contribution Frame (CF). The key is to not be confrontational on any level. Instead, start by agreeing. Then reframe the discussion from their limitation to your contribution. Support this with proof or by referring back to something you have already established in an interview.
So, they might say:
“I’m sorry, but due to internal equity (i.e., everyone on the same pay scale), I’m not at liberty to start you any higher.”
And you can say:
“I understand [agree], internal equity and pay scales are very important, and I know it can be hard to step outside of them. However, [reframe to CF] pay scales are typically based on a certain performance level. I have demonstrated at XYZ Company that my output is at least double that of the average X. Given that I’m not asking for a proportional increase but instead a very modest one, hopefully, you’ll find it reasonable.”
Therefore, every time they come at you with a limiting objection, you respond with a contribution rebuttal.
You now know everything you need to start dominating the job market. Also, you have the information and strategy to secure offers that would have otherwise been impossible.
You are now an armed and trained job marketeer!
Good luck out there!
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
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