Handling Pre-Offer Negotiations

12.07.2018 |

Episode #9 of the course How to find a dream job and get hired by Ryan Lecour


Welcome to Day 9!

Today, we’ll talk about building your leverage and navigating through pre-offer negotiations.


How to Set the Foundation and Identify Your Leverage Points

The word “leverage” quite simply means the power to influence.

To maximize your leverage and success, some pretty good timing and foresight has to be involved. You’ll want to approach this whole process strategically and create the conditions for your leverage to build up naturally. If you are following the steps laid out in this course, by this stage, you most definitely have leverage you can marshal.

Your having options and being in-demand by multiple competitors within an industry is extremely valuable leverage. Companies want what their competitors want, and they don’t want to lose. The fact that you are in demand and have offers and options will raise your perceived value by quite a significant measure. It will also help you build confidence and the ability to release your attachment to any one company or opportunity. This will naturally cause you to broadcast HVTs.

Therefore, start this whole process with “C” and “B” companies first! Hone your skills and start getting offers in motion from the companies that are slightly less desirable to you. Having these offers in hand will give you much greater leverage when it comes to moving processes along with your top picks and negotiating the best offer.


Points of Leverage in Negotiation

Let’s look at what power of influence you can access when it comes to negotiating job offers. Here are the points of leverage you want:

Multiple offers (having options). As for having options, gradually work through your B companies and toward your A companies, collecting offers along the way.

Current employment (the luxury of patience). Make very sure you are presently employed (I know, it’s a lot to juggle).

Market forces (what the market pays). Know what the market pays for services like yours.

Your track record of success (your proven results). These are the stories you can draw upon and the anecdotes and statistics of your success.

Your accumulated deposits of HVTs (the sum of your value). This is your value proposition and your ability to demonstrate it (rather than just talk about it) throughout the process.

Developing these leverage points throughout the process will make negotiation much more tilted in your favor.


Navigating Negotiations before the Offer

First, determine where you realistically fit in terms of compensation. What can you justify, and what can you make the case for? Keep track of the reasons and keep them in your arsenal.
Break down the range into three sections:

1. acceptable

2. acceptable with other perks

3. not acceptable

Try to never shoot first in the duel of salary negotiations. You surrender a key point of leverage when you talk about salary too early. This can be hard to grapple with because chances are, the DM will try to talk about it very early on. And they can sometimes be quite forceful about it. They may claim they have a “policy” about gathering such information at this stage. Whatever they do, it’s important to try your best to hold your ground as politely as possible. Companies know how critical it is to make the candidate “shoot first” with a number.

If your expectations are much lower than the DM was prepared to pay, you will never know if you shoot first. They know this and want very much to have information prior to revealing their numbers.

Maintaining the balance of holding your ground and staying on good terms is an important skill. Here is the message you want to send:

“I’m very excited about this opportunity. However, I never like to discuss salary expectations or information until we’re both sure this is a fit. I’m not sure what has been budgeted for this position—but whatever it is, I’m happy to consider it.”

Tomorrow is our last day! We’ll be examining the very final stage in the process—the post-offer stage. This is where you get an offer but try to negotiate a better one. I’ll show you how.

Happy job marketeering until then,



Recommended book

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz


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