Career|Career & Education

How To Negotiate A Really Lowball Job Offer

It happens to the best of us every now and again. You get an offer that just seems designed to insult you. You probably feel frustrated, upset, and significantly unheard and undervalued. The first step is to not jump to conclusions and to react in as neutral a way as possible initially. Then, here are some techniques to cope and negotiate.

1.   Ask For Some Time To Consider

This is a great passive tactic to implement immediately. Ask them for a couple of days to consider the offer, and give them a definite time frame in which they can expect a response. A good general idea is about 2-3 business days. This gives you time to mull and doesn’t waste their time, but also lets them know in a passive way that the offer wasn’t immediately acceptable.

2.   Decide On Your Strategy

This is where you will decide if you’re going to express your disappointment outright or counter with a more reasonable offer. Many people will choose to negotiate first, in the hopes of getting a position that they really want, while making some compromises. Others will count it as a loss, but send a message expressing that disappointment and offering to consider if the conditions were improved.

3.   Determine If The Job Is Worth It

There may be cases where it just isn’t worth the hassle of going back and forth. There are some signals that your negotiations would be unsuccessful. Some of these factors include the employer insisting that the offer is the best they can do, further research indicating that the offer was fair, when you won’t be able to negotiate with a level head, or if the position simply isn’t worth the emotional strain.

4.   Counter & Know What’s Important To You

When you counter, make sure you go in with a plan that you can use for some framework. Know what’s important to you at a job, if they can’t offer more money, can they offer additional vacation time? If they can’t offer that, what can they do to make the offer more appealing? Sometimes you will be surprised at the perks they will offer that won’t end up on your paycheck.

5.   Know Your Job Market

You can’t decide what is and isn’t a fair offer if you don’t have a thorough knowledge of the salary range for the position nationwide as well as regionally and locally. Be sure you aren’t just throwing numbers at them in the hopes that they’ll bite. You may even be in the market for things like stock options or other equity in the company.

6.   Know Your Value

This is another area where research is incredibly valuable. Knowing how much you, your skills, background, experience, and so on are worth, can help you squeeze every bit of value out of a prospective offer. Even take into account how badly the company needs you, or needs to fill the position. A position with high turnover may be worth a higher bid.