Now let’s get into the nitty gritty details of how to counter a job offer.
Most professionals, when asked why they don’t counter their job offers share that they are simply afraid they will loose the opportunity.
After helping hundreds of professionals negotiate job offers I am happy to share with you I have never seen an offer pulled as a result of a counter offer.
That’s not to say it could never happen.. but my question would be –all things being equal if a potential employer did that, would you really want to work for them?
But back to point: the first thing to do when you receive a job offer is first off; make sure to get all of the details of the offer.
Then enthusiastically thank them! You might not be thrilled with the details of the offer but now is NOT the time to negotiate! Thank them and ask for a day or two to go over the details of the offer.
Now compare the terms of the offer with your professional goals. How many points does the offer satisfy…starting with the salary?
Make notes on each point of the offer compared to your professional goals. You must determine how important each point is to you. Title them A, B and C. Put the A’s at the top of your list. For example:
Salary offered: $125k
Salary goals: $145k
Vacation offered: 2 weeks
Vacation goals: 4 weeks
Relocation package offered: 15k
Relocation goals: 20k plus temporary housing
When you are ready, connect with your potential employer and let them know you are excited to discuss the offer with them. A key point here is you will do well to smile and be as positive and enthusiastic as possible! If you act somber, concerned or pessimistic you will bring down the energy of the deal and in turn dampen the excitement of your contact person!
So, begin where you left off by thanking them for the offer and sharing with them how excited you are about the opportunity.
Then indicate that you would like to go over a few points of the offer.
If you are negotiating the salary range, always begin there. State to your contact that although everything about the offer is great, you were hoping that the salary range at the level and responsibility of the position would be more along the lines of $____.
If the salary is in a competitive range for your position you might do well to stay within a 20% negotiation range (You can check salary ranges by title and location using salary.com).
Wait for them to respond to your statement before you say anything else.
If they indicate that is a do-able figure then congratulations! Now you can discuss whatever other points are important to you… be it stock options, vacation time, relocation, bonuses or insurance.
If however your contact states they cannot offer you more – you can do one of two things:
You can state that you are still excited about the position and ask to move forward to discuss a few other components of the offer.
You can state that you are still excited about the position and that you know they can work something out that is a WIN for everyone. Then ask if you can make another suggestion. That suggestion can include a signing bonus and/or a six month job review/raise based on your performance.
Using these negotiations techniques here are just a few successes I have seen my clients have over the years:
5% to 20% average increase in original salary offer
2k to 25k signing bonuses
25% increases in bonuses
4 months relocation housing covered
10% increase in relocation package
I hope these simple methods will help you too…ask for and get more money!