• Sharebar

I recently negotiated an offer and wanted to post about my positive experience. This is the first time I have negotiated an offer and in preparation I looked through the previous posts and asked for a bit of advice from SirTradesaLot for help in the process.

Negotiating an offer is like a dance, both partners need to know how to tango in order for both parties to leave feeling satisfied. More than likely, the potential employer (HR, future boss, Hiring manager) will have a greater amount of experience negotiating offers. So ensuring you are caught up on the steps is important. For those of you that think that negotiating an offer will tick off your future employer, it will not if you do it correctly. After going through it, I feel like they respected me more for negotiating what I thought I should make. For all those who might be negotiating an offer please read through these links, they will be extremely helpful.

Here are few things in the below posts I found most helpful/applicable to my recent experience (take a look at the posts and the video for more details):

1) Anchoring

- Always throw out a number that you would be ecstatic about getting. Do your research and ensure this is at least slightly above the market rate for this position, so that you don't low-ball yourself. This is the most important part of the process, because to quote "This Anchor number is where all future negotiations will likely to be set against".

2) Allow for the employer to pay you in more ways than one. Tell them you are flexible in ways they can pay you. Ask for carried interest, revenue sharing, stock options, and any other they might be willing to discuss.

3) If you are leaving before bonus time, ensure that you ask for this bonus from your new employer. This is industry norm and this will increase your signing bonus. I've heard of people getting paid in September by their new firms what they would have received in December. Don't be afraid to ask.

4) If they say "No" today, it doesn't mean they will say no tomorrow. If they say no to a request, it doesn't mean they will say no tomorrow, or at later date in the negotiating process. You can and should revisit the topic after you have signed. This also goes along with staying at the table in the negotiating process.

5) Let/make them believe that they can get you. Communicate that this firm is Number #1 but you are not desperate and can always turn around and take another offer/stay at current shop if they don't offer a respectable number.

6) Answering the question "What is current salary" if it is substantially less than the new jobs current salary. You could tell them what you plan to make the next year at current firm based on a few reasons that you should provide. This is a tough situation as you might not want to low ball yourself. I think in the end the best route is don't lie about your current salary. Because this will be grounds for termination if the truth ever comes out.

7) Avoid ultimatums- If the employer says we can never do this. Ignore what they just said and move on. Because they might be able to in the future and you don't want to point out the fact that they had to take back what they said. People don't like being wrong or having their noses rubbed in it.

8) Know whom you are dealing with- Know the situation the person you are negotiating with and put yourself in their shoes. Think about how much pull they have and why they are doing/saying the things they are saying. If it is HR, they will most likely not call BS on a anchor number you have since they are really acting as the messenger for the compensation committee (hiring manager etc..). If it is your future boss you are discussing this with you should try not to annoy them. In all cases, you want the person you are talking with to leave the conversation wanting to do everything they can to help you.

In closing, negotiating an offer is a critical part of the hiring process and you should be prepared to negotiate. These below posts are GREAT resources in learning the "it take 2 to tango" negotiation dance. In my recent negotiating experience I was extremely surprised at how accommodating the firm was with my requests. I received almost everything I asked for and then some. Believe me when I say that nearly everything in the below posts are true.

Special thank to SirTradesaLot for the wise advice he was able to impart on my situation.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-to-negotiate-your-job-offer-prof-deepak-malhotra-hbs

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-to-negotiate-for-more-money-during-the-interview-process

4

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (22)

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    Congrats, nicely done.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • Going Concern's picture

    Assuming they gave you an initial offer (otherwise of your pre-offer pay) - what percentage of that were you able to tack on through negotiatin', and what percentage of that dollar amount increase was cash vs other stuff?

  • MFFL's picture

    Good advice. Question though - how do you view salary negotiations for group programs where you're coming in with a class of people versus a one-off type position where you got promoted or hired into a new opening? I am currently in a FLDP, and when I was given the offer it came across more as "this is what the position pays" versus "this is what we are offering you", where I got the sense that it was a take it or leave it type thing. I know that everyone in my class and the class before me got the exact same offer.

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • In reply to Going Concern
    shark-monkey's picture

    Going Concern:
    Assuming they gave you an initial offer (otherwise of your pre-offer pay) - what percentage of that were you able to tack on through negotiatin', and what percentage of that dollar amount increase was cash vs other stuff?

    Good Question- For my situation they didn't throw out a number first. They asked me what I want/should/be-happy-with and I gave them numbers and reasons behind why I think I deserve to make that. It was a conversation. They responded(within the week) with everything that I asked for. So I didn't have to negotiate after the initial offer, although I was ready to. Which might well mean that I went too low.

    I'd be interested in hearing what others might have for the tack on through negotiating question. But I would guess it all depends on where your anchor is, and how much you like the company vs taking less pay (i.e. How badly you want more pay)

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

  • In reply to MFFL
    shark-monkey's picture

    MFFL:
    Good advice. Question though - how do you view salary negotiations for group programs where you're coming in with a class of people versus a one-off type position where you got promoted or hired into a new opening? I am currently in a FLDP, and when I was given the offer it came across more as "this is what the position pays" versus "this is what we are offering you", where I got the sense that it was a take it or leave it type thing. I know that everyone in my class and the class before me got the exact same offer.

    From what I was able to gather in reading through the comments in the prior posts is that in those type of programs the salary is not negotiable. Which makes sense because there are so many of you to fill spots that if one person wanted more they could take it or leave it. So I guess it depends on a supply demand situation for the job and how well you are able to differentiate yourself from others in the program. But I think it would be something to negotiate once you have completed the program and proved that you are worth more.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

  • In reply to shark-monkey
    AndyLouis's picture

    shark-monkey:
    They responded(within the week) with everything that I asked for. So I didn't have to negotiate after the initial offer, although I was ready to. Which might well mean that I went too low.

    I wonder what % of the time - when you state your desired salary, and they accept it, could you have asked for more..

    What are your thoughts on people whose strategy in negotiating is to always throw a # out there (or whatever it is they're negotiating) that they know will get rejected, and then anchor from that? Obviously more common in situations in which they know the receiver of the offer is expecting them to do this. All a game I guess

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    shark-monkey's picture

    AndyLouis:
    shark-monkey:
    They responded(within the week) with everything that I asked for. So I didn't have to negotiate after the initial offer, although I was ready to. Which might well mean that I went too low.

    I wonder what % of the time - when you state your desired salary, and they accept it, could you have asked for more..

    What are your thoughts on people whose strategy in negotiating is to always throw a # out there (or whatever it is they're negotiating) that they know will get rejected, and then anchor from that? Obviously more common in situations in which they know the receiver of the offer is expecting them to do this. All a game I guess

    I think when they come back quickly and accept the number you threw out there, I think you could have asked for more. 100%.

    Ya it's definitely a game. And I threw out a number that I thought was going to get rejected, but not make me look like a complete a-hole.. And it looks like I played it too safely. This was my inexperience, hopefully, people can learn from.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

  • Bobby Hurley's picture

    Great post and congratulations to you!

    Did you work with a recruiter? They are another factor in the employer-employee salary negotiation. I wish I had negotiated more.. I worked with a recruiter and he didn't really want to fight too much for an extra $5-$10K for me; decided to play it safe and accept the original offer (nice, but could have been better). Oh well. Thoughts here?

    Kudos on the shark/monkey picture has well. Ha!

    CPA/investor/bballer

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    AndyLouis:

    What are your thoughts on people whose strategy in negotiating is to always throw a # out there (or whatever it is they're negotiating) that they know will get rejected, and then anchor from that?

    That's the ideal in most situations. It works well because most people assume that it is to their advantage for the other person to throw out the first number, because they can beat them down to a better number. What they don't usually realize is that they are beating up an artificial number.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to Bobby Hurley
    shark-monkey's picture

    drew.spencer.stevens:
    Great post and congratulations to you!

    Did you work with a recruiter? They are another factor in the employer-employee salary negotiation. I wish I had negotiated more.. I worked with a recruiter and he didn't really want to fight too much for an extra $5-$10K for me; decided to play it safe and accept the original offer (nice, but could have been better). Oh well. Thoughts here?

    Kudos on the shark/monkey picture has well. Ha!

    Like a recruiter like a head hunter? No I networked. Although I have talked to HH's before, I haven't used them to get a job before. I get the feeling that they would usually want to get the most since they get a % on the salary of the person they bring in (I think). I think at the end of the day if you have a job in the industry and you are using a HH, you need to tell them you want X or else. So I guess just be a little firmer with the HH if you really want it.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

  • Wanderer-in-Time's picture

    Very good and details effort but I must say that you got off a little lucky over there. I mean the art of negotiation is in improvising and not any amount of advices can actually make the master. You have to jump into the water to find out the depth. But I think over all it is a nice effort would help lot of people.

    In Time I wander

  • In reply to meabric
    shark-monkey's picture

    meabric:
    you should credit the hbs prof whose lecture you summarized

    I referenced Professor Deepak Malhotra in one of the 2 links at the bottom.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

  • In reply to Wanderer-in-Time
    shark-monkey's picture

    Wanderer-in-Time:
    Very good and details effort but I must say that you got off a little lucky over there. I mean the art of negotiation is in improvising and not any amount of advices can actually make the master. You have to jump into the water to find out the depth. But I think over all it is a nice effort would help lot of people.

    You are right I was lucky in that I didn't really have to negotiate at all. I got what I asked for. But what I wanted to point out is that people need to make sure they ask for the benefits/# that they would be really happy to get. And that there is a way to go about it. Improvising starts with being prepared. Otherwise you may not get the offer you want/deserve.

    I would be interested in hearing from someone who countered an initial offer.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

  • Nouveau Richie's picture

    To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

    Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!
  • aicccia's picture

    "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

  • In reply to aicccia
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG