424: Negotiation Techniques That Really Work to Maximize Your Job Offer

In this recorded coaching session, I help a client prepare to negotiate her job offer and helped her nearly triple the original salary.


Jessica, Chief Content Officer

Jessica was Director with a "good" company who made a career change to a C-Suite role with her ideal organization.

on this episode

Negotiation can be tricky. When it comes to negotiating a job offer to get more money, it can be even trickier. You’re probably not close to the person from your new company who you’re negotiating against. And you might be scared of blowing the offer by asking for too much. What should you do? This week’s podcast is a bit of a special episode. I’m sharing a recording of a coaching session I had with a client named Jessica, who negotiated her job offer from $130,000… to $380,000. That’s right, she negotiated more than double what they originally offered her. Want to know how she did it? 

Jessica called me, very excited. She had received not one, but two, job offers, both life-altering opportunities. She was psyched, and I was proud of her. The first offer was from a small company that she really wanted to work for, but was asking her to take a pay cut from her prior job. The second offer was from a large company that was offering her a very prestigious role and a raise from her prior job.

No-brainer, right? Take the job with the big company! The problem was that she didn’t really want to work for the big company. She wanted to work for the small company. But she wouldn’t be able to do it unless she could convince the small company to offer her a better compensation package. It was time to negotiate!

What you’ll learn

  • How Jessica felt going into negotiations, and the tactics she used to get her dream offer.
  • The technique she used to work with her new company and successfully negotiate nearly triple her original salary.
  • Why negotiating your job offer makes your new employer want to hire you even more.

Success Stories

Thank you for guiding me through the negotiation process of asking for a raise. Even in this economy you convinced me to follow through. I also appreciate your thoughts on what I should include in my portfolio; it made the difference in the value added that I was able to present to my supervisor.

Ken Russell, Career Placement Coordinator, United States/Canada

I greatly appreciate your help in bringing this along because I wouldn't have had the confidence to negotiate and to be where I am today without the help of a lot of other people. You played a really significant role in it. I'm not going to be that everyday person that hates my job, I'm going to stretch and I'm going to aspire to be better and I'm not going to make that everyday salary. Thank you Scott for putting this out there for all the people that are trying to do a little bit better and trying to go a little bit farther. This is awesome. I love this. This thing that you do, the whole HTYC thing, from the paperwork all the way down to the podcast and just helping people understand that there is success out there and it is attainable but you've got to work for it.

Jerrad Shivers, Market Manager, United States/Canada

male no name

I had listened to the Happen To Your Career podcast for several years before reaching out to Scott about getting career coaching. I'd been in my role for nearly 10 years, wanted to stay, but felt like it was time to renegotiate. What I expected/hoped for was maybe a 10% raise MAX, as I was already near the top of my salary range for the area. Scott pushed me to ask for more, helped me feel confident I was worth that ask, and coached me through how that will probably go, what to say, when and how to say it, what not to say, etc. I walked into my boss's office prepared and he knew it. As my request went higher up the chain, they knew it as well. My preparations and HTYC's great coaching paid off, in a few week's turn around time I was given a 20% raise, and renegotiated job duties which will help me enjoy my job even more! I highly recommend both their podcast and coaching services, Scott and his team are the real deal!

Justin, Engineer

Exactly 5 weeks from when I arrived in Canada I got a full time job, negotiated a higher salary and within the next 3 days I got another offer that pays 33% more. I am happy and very thankful to you, for you gave me support when I was looking and offered great tips.

Ingrid , United States/Canada

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:01

After you get some acknowledgment from them, that's where you can jump in and say, "Well, here's one of the major things I'm concerned about right now. If I walk away from my role, this second, I'm essentially leaving $68,000 on the table."

Introduction 00:20

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:44

Here's a story we hear all the time, you did the work, identified what you wanted, to found a role with an organization that you want to join, you got through all the interviews, you've met everybody, organization was a fit, you nailed it, you got an offer. Woohoo! Except that the offers not quite everything that you were hoping for. Maybe the salaries not quite meeting your expectations. Or maybe it's half the amount of vacation time that you've grown accustomed to. Maybe it doesn't have all the leadership or mentorship capacities that you're interested in, maybe the role itself needs to be modified.

Jessica 01:18

I mean, I know that's a crazy signing bonus. But I'm also like, this is a C suite role[a] and the salary at 130 is just not, see it, like if we do any type of comp analysis, 130 is not what a person of my experience for 15 years[b] to master's degrees, the extent of what the role it's just under. But I also know we're talking about a startup. So I just don't know how flexible I should be. And again, I don't want to leave any money on the table...

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:44

Look, when you get to this situation, I understand the stakes are high. You want to negotiate your offer, you also don't want to blow it. So how do you tell this organization? The same organization that you just spent so much time and effort going through the interview process, meeting all the people, determining that it actually is a fit, they finally made this offer, it's your ideal role but, guess what? You need more. And how do you not offend them, by the way? How do you avoid sounding greedy or like you're going to be difficult to work with? These all sound like problems, it's not a great way to start off. However, there absolutely is not one way but multiple ways. So today on the podcast, we don't normally do this but I'm actually sharing with you a recording of a coaching session with one of our clients where we help her negotiate an offer but get this, she not only ended up accepting the offer, but raised her total comp package from 165k, to not 175k, not 185k.. 359k. Right. Okay. Hang tight to hear exactly how we did that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:56

Prioritize those for me if they're not already in priority order. Well, what we've been looking for... that are already in priority. Yes. That makes me so happy on so many levels. That being the case, then we need to focus primarily on salary, however, think it may be very useful, you call it out that, you know, 1099 could be a potential option in order to make up some salary.

Jessica 03:23

Yeah, like I don't need any benefits. And that I mean, my husband's like a federal government worker plans on it. So I haven't taken benefits in 10 years[c] from any company. I mean, I have long term disability now just because it's smart to have it. But at the end of the day, I have, you know, just I don't need it, I'd rather right now just like bring home as much cash as I can. And that's where I'm at.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:42

Chances are high they're paying someplace between $500 in the very lowest end, which I think is really unlikely, up to about $20500 per month for the end of this. Back in my purchasing benefits days and working with brokers and everything like that, chances are high, that's someplace between those two numbers. That gives us essentially a little bit to work with, if they're open to the idea of that. The plan has to be going in and saying, look, this is really the role that I'm looking for in so many different ways. And I really am looking forward to working with you in here. And also at the same time, the only thing stopping me from saying yes right now is we have some pretty big differences in terms of what I was looking for, for compensation, for salary and signing bonus and annual bonus and equity and a few other areas. And I want to figure out how to work through those so that we can get to a situation where it's good for both of us. So I recognize that that might take some creativity, and I'm totally willing to figure out how that might work. I have some ideas but I also... we're probably going to need to figure it out together to be able to get you over here ASAP. I want that to happen. That's got to be. And I'm just being really directed just because we have a small amount of time, that's going to be the type of conversation where you're setting the expectations coming into it saying, "Hey, we've got quite a bit where we're off" is probably gonna have to be a verbal conversation the first time around. So instead of sending over this as an email, your next step is going to need to be setting up a time where you can converse with the decision maker who holds the purse strings.

Jessica 05:35

Mark, the gentleman that called me today, and he's the co founder and CEO, and then the other gentleman is another co-founder, Phil.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:42

What's his name the other gentleman?

Jessica 05:43


Scott Anthony Barlow 05:44

Phil. Okay. Mark, though?

Jessica 05:45

He was a CEO of a company.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:47

What's his role now, here?

Jessica 05:49

Co-founder, visionary. It's very up in the air. But because they have global, which is the other company. And that's what's funding. They are in the more executive leadership development space, and they do strategy and consulting work with teams, talent and strategy around organizations trying to grow their leaders.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:12

Okay, awesome.

Jessica 06:13

And then these courses are online, a professional development platform for emerging leaders. So it's 25 to 40 year old like, and that's what I was trying to say in the email. Like, I think they're so excited, because I would be the face of this company. Yeah, and I was like, "Well, okay, guys, so I'm gonna have to, like do the ISD work, and also be the face" which I don't mind being the face, because I'll just be wildly excited about it. The online platform is a combination between mentoring, coaching and learning. So it's like, it's in my core, you know, I'm like, Yeah, do this, you know, but I really want... I didn't want to go down in salary. I wanted to go up, you know, and...

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:52

So it got to be verbal conversation first. Sounds like it needs to happen with Mark, then. And is there anybody else that has a vested interest here?

Jessica 07:01

No. And I would say Mark is the sole decision maker. I've had conversations with Phil, and another gentleman, Joe, but he's been working solely with the recruiter to get... he's the CHRO, the previous CHRO, so he's like, applying the HR.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:13

What is your bottom end here? If I read your email correctly, it sounds like you were, you've referenced the 45k increases that your bottom end, like, what is your walkaway point? Like, this is no longer get create a good deal for you.

Jessica 07:30

Let me talk this out loud really quick. Because I think on normal circumstances, because of the environment that I'm in right now, I would be perfectly fine with doing a lateral move, like with base salary. So if my base is 14565, and I'm like getting out of stressful work environment, and I'm able to keep my salary, nothing changes, more opportunity, title of my dreams, you know, work of my dreams, 100% remote role, right? Like, I'm winning, I'm winning there. But because there's the possibility of me having to pay back 33k and tuition reimbursement, I'm like, I need a signing bonus, just so I don't have to come out of pocket from that. And I'm also losing out on my you know, bonus for the 2020 year by taking the roll on October[d]. So I that's what I feel like should I walk away and wait for something better, but I could be without a settlement package, I could be unemployed, like you know, it's all shoulda, coulda, woulda is and I'm just not sure around that. But I think that's why I also want a higher salary because I'm trying to compensate for the potential of having to pay back the tuition reimbursement, as well as not getting a bonus, not just from the year that I worked, but like the whole year that I would have to perform in this new role. And then a bonus wouldn't happen until the following year. And that's never guaranteed. But I feel confident in achieving those set goals, but it's just... it's not part of your base salary. So, that's what's spiraling in my head at this point.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:59

So really, that is that 60 something 1000 number that we're talking about...

Jessica 09:04


Scott Anthony Barlow 09:04

Or role.

Jessica 09:05

I mean, I know that's a crazy signing bonus. But I'm also like, this is a C suite role and the salary at 130 is just not, see it, like if we do any type of comp analysis, 130 is not what a person of my experience for 15 years[e] to master's degrees, the extent of what the role it's just under. But I also know we're talking about a startup. So I just don't know how flexible I should be. And again, I don't want to leave any money on the table...

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:31

Well, there's multiple different ways to be able to make that happen too, like even if the signing bonus format. If we are able to create that type of same amount in a different way, then I think that's okay, too.

Jessica 09:44

And I'm fine with it being in a different way. Like that's why I kind of built on the equity piece because it's...

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:49

Also smaller. They're scrappier, and I think that's going to be an easier thing for them to do. And we're another... and it also allows you to use the approach of "Hey, here's what I'm looking for. Here's what I'm working with." So I think that part of your conversation after you share them the "Hey, look, I totally feel like this is right for me, I'm really excited about it. Thank you so much." All of those pieces must be there really critical that those pieces are there. And then you go on to say that, "I also want to acknowledge that even though the roles really right, we've got quite a huge gap in between with what I'm looking for overall compensation, including, you know, salary, annual bonus, and equity and those types of things, too. So I'm more than happy to share the details with you about that. And but I want you to know, before we even start talking about that, I want to work this out, because this is really a role that I can, even myself, and I'm really excited about. And I'm really, really want to start working for you sooner. So you're setting the stage, and then from there be able to say so I also think this might require some level of creativity on both our parts, but I'm willing to explore really creative methods. After you get some acknowledgement from them, that's where you can jump in and say, "Well, here's one of the major things I'm concerned about right now, if I walk away from my role, this second, I'm essentially leaving $68,000 on the table." And that comes in two forms, you didn't have to share all the other specifics. This is like a throwaway number in some ways, where we'll just call this the game of negotiation, for lack of a better phrase. I want you to do it authentically and everything like that. However, I also want them to be able to have a way to participate in the game with you in a way that's going to be advantageous for both people. So you need to give them a throwaway number here to start this out. Because this is going to be a really useful number for you because it's very true, it also is something that they can easily understand. Like it's not... I want to make, you know, $300,000 a year, because it sound much concrete that is already in existence that they can't argue with, or you'll feel differently about. So it's a case of "Look, I want you to know that, you know, if I leave my role right now, then I am literally leaving $68,000 on the table. Additionally, you know, as I was looking into this next opportunity, couple of the things I wanted to share with you, you know, as I was talking about, as I was talking to Facebook and had an offer on the table from them, they're offering a 200, and whatever it is $40,000.

Jessica 12:36

Yeah, 260.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:37

Now I'd much much much prefer to work here, over Facebook, however, and this is a pretty big difference and a pretty big gap, overall. The things that I'm really interested in that might help with, help bridge some of that gap, I'm really interested in equity in the company, especially if I'm acting as the face of the organization. I'm also a learner really interested in professional development. Currently, I have access to those funds, right this very second in my role. And that's something I've liked to be able to work in here where I'm continuing to develop myself. And then another thing that might be really useful for you is I don't necessarily need to have benefits, I don't necessarily need to come off as a standard employee. So if it is advantageous to operate on the 1099, where you don't have to pay benefits for me and some of the other taxes that go along with having an employee, I'm really open to that type of solution in order to make higher levels of compensation and these other areas. Those are a few of my initial thoughts, and I wanted to be really transparent with you, so that you understand where I'm coming from. So here's why, just... you may already know some of this and stop me if it's redundant, or things that you already know. But the reason why I've chosen these few things to focus on versus everything or the laundry list, as it's hard to argue with any of these pieces like...

Jessica 14:04


Scott Anthony Barlow 14:04

Offer from Facebook, they know they've heard of Facebook, like they use Facebook, they understand, you know what that is. And then being able to counter that with like, I don't, I would much prefer to work here than Facebook. This is the role, but also like this is a real thing. And then the 68 like we already talked about, it's really difficult to do that, they're going to be able to understand that.

Jessica 14:28

I will. I know that the offer will get better. That's what's exciting to me, right. And so I don't know how much better so that's the fun part.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:35

It is fun, right? But there's a lot of upside here.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:39

Hey, after listening to that coaching session with Jessica, first of all, I just want to mention again that we don't do this all the time, and we had permission from Jessica to be able to share this with everyone. I also want you to hear exactly what happened after this session. Jessica went and did an amazing job having not just one conversationm but series of conversations. And then later on, she sent me this email, I'm gonna read it to you, she said, "Hey, Scott, I wanted to give you an update. They went from a total comp package of 165k to 359k. Wow! wow! wow!" lots of exclamation points, "I'm over the moon right now, and really in shock. They reiterated how I was worth every penny and said, "you can find anyone with technical expertise. But someone with your disposition in DNA is hard to come by. We can't wait for you to join the team and are so glad that we could make this work for us." I can't thank you enough for all your coaching, encouraging support during these last few months[f]. I've landed the role of my dreams along with the comp I wanted and knew that I deserved." Hey, this is something that you can do too, it's duplicatable. I wanted to share this coaching session with you to see how this could be possible. The one thing that is not often not recognized is we didn't necessarily talk about every single element of psychology that was at play here. And we also didn't talk about some of the incentives that were at play. And it's just important to recognize that those things are often in play. And we've already done some of that work beforehand prior to this coaching session. But honestly, you know, that's why I personally always take a partner anytime doing any kind of negotiation, because it helps me pull out of the emotional side and recognize what else is at play, that way I can get to not just something that's good for me. But something that's great for all the parties involved, because that's really what creates the best type of ending situation in a negotiation. It's not one sided. So I really hope that you took that away. And if there's anything that we can do to help, whether it's with your negotiation, or helping you get to the point where you even get an offer that you really actually want in the first place, then don't hesitate to ask, just email me, scott@happentoyourcareer.com. And either myself or my team will get back with you. And we'll figure out how to connect up with you via zoom. And we'll ask you some questions to understand your situation and figure out the very best way that we can support you whether that's one of our programs, whether it's personal coaching, whether it's, you know, something like we did with Jessica, email me, scott@happentoyourcareer.com and put 'Conversation' in the subject line.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:38

There's so many college graduates that never actually work in their field of study. On the flip side, there are those that are able to capitalize on the years of hard work in college to land a job in their field. But sometimes when they do that the honeymoon phase wears off. And then they start to feel like they were meant to do something else entirely.

Alexandra Carter 17:58

So I went out. I worked as a lawyer for a period of time that I never forgot. And I worked steadily in my off hours to find ways to build my expertise. Until the moment that Columbia hired me back to teach the course that I took as a student. I am one of those unicorns, who wakes up every day and thinks I truly am doing what I was meant to do on this earth.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:24

That's Alexandra Carter. Alex is a clinical professor of law and is a world renowned negotiation trainer who's helped thousands of people listen to she shares, how to cultivate relationships and identify what really brings you joy. And then learn to apply negotiation skills that help you build a bridge to a role that really actually fits you. Take a listen to Alex, this is such a great episode. I think you'll love it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:49

All that and plenty more next week[g] right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep. And you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out!

[a][01:21] inaudible @kathy@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Kathy Wilkes_

[b][01:32] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[c][03:30] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[d][08:15] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[e][09:19] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[f][15:39] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[g][18:51] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

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