Salary Negotiation: “They’re telling me the offer has no flexibility,” with Ramit Sethi


– This question is from
David S., about negotiation. “Hey, Ramit, so I have a job offer “and, after the first
round of negotiations, “they’re telling me the
salary has no flexibility. “How do I show them that it does?” I love this question
because, as an Indian, I feel personally offended that they said there’s no flexibility. There’s not always flexibility,
but usually there is, and it’s a classic scare
tactic that I, myself, if I were not Ramit Sethi of
I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I, myself, might consider using, because I know people,
especially American people, are so naive and terrified of negotiating. That’s why Saturn was able to sell cars to unsuspecting people, who were like, “I don’t want to negotiate. “I’d rather just pay a higher price “so I feel comfortable with myself.” That’s what Saturn’s positioning was. Genius, for the American
delusional market. How did I get off on that tangent? I have no idea. The question was, “They’re telling me I have no
flexibility. What do I do?” Okay, a few things. First of all, the bad news. The bad news is that, if
they’re telling you that, you probably did something
wrong way back here. By the time top performers
get to discuss negotiation and salary and compensation,
it’s well understood that there is going to be a negotiation. That’s because they
have said phrases like, “Well, you know, at my last job
I was very well compensated, “and I’m certainly
looking for compensation “that is a good fit for me, “but I’m also looking for a
better fit in terms of my values “and what I want to do with my career.” They’re saying phrases
like that back here, in the first meeting, even at coffee. By the time they get to the negotiation, those subtle comments
have made an impression on the interviewer, who knows. He’s like, “All right, I’d
better put my battle hat on. “I’m ready to play.” Instead, what most average candidates do is they go and they try
to answer questions, like “Yes, this is why I’m very interesting “and my biggest weakness is
that I try too hard and, please, “will you please accept
me for this job, please?” By the time they get to the end, when they’re discussing compensation, if they’ve gotten the job offer, which is good, congratulations, the interviewer knows, he’s like, “I got this guy! “I know he has no other offers. “I know he has really no other options. “I know he probably didn’t
make that much at his last job. “Maybe he even told me how much he made, “so I got him in a bind. “Let me just take him down.” Nooo flexibility. Now, here’s what you do, if you haven’t gotten to this point, for the people who haven’t
gotten to this point yet, the best thing you can do
is have multiple offers, so make sure that you
are doing your job search with multiple companies, and I can show you how to do that later, and including how to time it perfectly, so that you get a bidding war. Oh, that’s my favorite thing in the world. You want to bid on how
much you want to pay me? Go for it. I’ll sit and watch with
popcorn in my mouth. The second thing is make
sure that you mention, throughout your engagement
with this company, that you want to be evaluated on value. You want to be compensated on value, not just on what the
general terminology is. You need to separate and
differentiate yourself, and you can do that by things
like the briefcase technique, some of the other techniques I’ll share. However, finally, if
you get to this point, either you messed it up or you tried your best and it didn’t work, you need to make the case for why you should be
given a higher salary, and here’s how you, in general, do it. Number one, you can get the
other comparable salaries from payscale.com,
salary.com and glassdoor.com. Let’s say there’s a pay range. Let’s just say it’s between
$50,000 to $62,000 a year. You want to show why you deserve to be at the top end
of that range: $62,000. Now, they may negotiate you down. In fact, I would, but let’s
say you get to $55,000. That’s a nice 10% raise: $5,000 for about an hour
or two of your time. If you can search
“negotiation” on my blog, you’ll see an example of a friend of mine, who, I think, made something
like $3,000 an hour, using my I Will Teach You techniques. Her name is Rachel. She’s also in my book. Show them why you are worth the money and why you deserve to be at
the top range of that spectrum. Now, you can do this again
by talking about what it is that you’re planning to
do with the company, etc. Now, let me share one last blunt truth. If you have basically just
been an average interviewee, an average candidate, you’ve never done any
briefcase technique stuff, you’ve never explored deep empathy to understand what it
is this company wants, and shared why you’d be different, you may have just put yourself in a bind where they’re not going
to negotiate with you. If that’s the case, this
is one way of saving face. You know Asian people love to save face, and I am Asian when
it’s convenient for me. However, when it’s not, then I’m Indian. Asian people love to save face and one thing you can say,
in the face-saving technique, is to go, “I understand
that times are tough “and that you don’t have any flexibility ” on the salary right now. “Okay, with that said, “I’m really interested in working with you “so, if we can make one agreement, “then I think we can find a good fit here “and that agreement would
be something like this. “If I do an extraordinary
job in the next six months, “will you agree that we can revisit this “and renegotiate my salary at that time? “Again, not if I do an average job, “but if I do an extraordinary job, “and would you be willing to
put that in the contract?” Of course! If I’ve already spent $5,000, $6,000, $10,000 recruiting you, and you ask me to someday in the future talk about maybe giving
you a salary increase? Done. But what you do then is,
when you start the job, your first 30 days, boom! Just knock it out of the park, and say, “What would make me do
an extraordinary job?” Get them to write it down. Be ultra-specific. Not just things like improve morale, improve customer service. No. What numbers do I need to hit? And then hit those numbers,
and blow past them, and when you do, you’ll go
in there six months later, whereas the other people
who got negotiated against and got nothing, they’ll
just stay there forever. You will show yourself as a top performer and maybe you can
salvage that negotiation. Good question.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *