Friday, June 20, 2008

Job Offer Negotiation In A Nutshell

For most executives, business negotiations are a routine, day-to-day responsibility, and they bring thought, talent and technique to the table.

However, when it comes to negotiating a job offer, they often don’t apply the same skills. In place of a dispassionate, methodical and logical approach, their personal feelings get in the way and avoidable errors are made.

So what’s the best strategy when the phone rings, the offer is extended, and it falls short?

Relax, the dance has just begun

There are only five essentials when you initially receive any job offer.

1. Listen. Let the person making the offer go through their entire pronouncement and absorb what they are saying.

2. Thank. After they’ve finished reciting the offer, express your gratitude. No matter what you might think of the terms, the appropriate response is to thank the person for the offer.

3. Restate. Play back what you just heard for confirmation. Say something like….”Let me see if I got all this. I’ll be reporting to Bill Jones, the title is Managing Director, the compensation is, my objectives include, …. etc.”

4. Written Offer. Ask to have a hard copy sent to you or at the very least, a faxed or email version. In print is imperative.

5. Response Scheduling. Let them know you need some time to digest the offer and schedule the date/time you’ll get back to them.

NEVER negotiate any aspect of a job offer on the spot. If you do, you run the risk that your request will be granted – which will effectively end any further negotiation. At this point, you haven’t had the time to fully drill down all the components.

Pick your points, wants and must-haves

After you’ve received a copy of the offer, carefully review it and determine which pieces work well for you and which do not. In addition to the compensation issues, you may want to negotiate such points as exit package, reporting relationships, job title, objectives, resources, start date and other relevant matters.

Short list three categories: your “must-haves” for accepting the offer, your “wants” in order to make you a happy camper and the “deal-breakers.” Prioritize them and one by one, develop your business case for each. A good technique is to have a coach or trusted friend/colleague role play the other side as devil’s advocate. It’ll help in refining your presentation.

Make your case

Before any negotiation starts, remember this is a business meeting. Begin by emphasizing your desire and enthusiasm for both the job and the company. Setting a positive and warm tone at the outset always helps. Then get down to brass tacks. Walk through your “must-haves”, “wants” and “deal-breakers”, using the same savvy and smarts that got you here in the first place.

They want you. You have leverage. Use it wisely.

1 comment:

nyer1969 said...

Once again, you give excellent succinct advice. Thank you.

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