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Final Negotiations Can Be Sensitive. You Need A Strategy.

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

In the last stages of accepting a job offer, there are often final negotiations that can be quite sensitive and nuanced. If you don’t handle yourself correctly, you could even risk having the offer withdrawn!

Below are several real-world situations that our clients have encountered, and the strategies we used to successfully guide them through the process. I have included the actual wording, to make this information more practical and “real.”

Response to a “low-ball” offer from Human Resources:

Ms. Smith, I respect your role in the hiring process and I know you are trying to do what’s best for the company and for me. While I truly appreciate your efforts, I think it would be a good idea at this juncture for me to speak to the Sr. Vice President, Ms. Jones. With all due respect to you, I have learned from experience that it’s best for me to conduct final negotiations with the hiring manager. I do not think it’s unreasonable for me to ask to speak to Ms. Jones, as it will be the most critical relationship I’ll have at the company, after I am hired for the position.

When granted a negotiation meeting with the hiring manager:

As you know, Ms. Jones, I have spoken to Mr. White in Human Resources about the compensation for this position. He was very professional and thorough. The offer he extended is a base salary of $XXXX with a bonus structure of X%-Y%, depending on personal and corporate performance. I thanked Mr. White and told him I would give the matter my full consideration. Now that I am speaking with you, however, there are several elements of the compensation package that I would like to discuss. If we are able to come to agreement on these items, then I’ll be prepared to accept your offer today.

Requesting job / work management meetings:

Ms. Jones, I am new to the company and its culture. I want to be sure that I am focusing on what you want me to focus on, doing the work you need me to do, the way you want me to do it. I also want to ensure that I am supporting your agenda and making your job easier. In order to do that, we’ll need to be in close communication, as I’ll want your continuing input. This will create a win-win-win scenario – a win for you, a win for the company and a win for me. With this in mind, would you be open to having regularly-scheduled, check-in / strategy meetings with me for the first three to six months of my tenure here?

Elevated title request:

Ms. Jones, I sincerely appreciate you offering me the role of Assistant Vice President at the company. However, I have already been an Assistant Vice President at two other companies for more than eight years. With this new career step, I would really prefer to be at the Vice President level, and I think I have earned it based on the track-record and accomplishments that I have shared with you. More importantly, the Vice President title would afford me the clout and influence necessary to interact most successfully with our staff members, clients and contractors.

Of course, every situation is different – and these exact phrases may not be appropriate in some cases. But these responses can be easily adapted. The important thing is to always have your strategy figured-out in advance and to practice it before your final negotiations!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at

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