It’s such a great feeling when you get that call saying you’ve got the job.
But there are times when, upon hearing the salary or package being offered, you feel less excited than expected. So what happens when this is the case? I sat down with one of Saleslogic’s top recruitment consultants, Pete Brooks, to get his thoughts and advice on negotiating your new salary
If the salary on offer is not what you were wanting, should you counter or reject the offer?
I firmly believe that if you are genuinely interested in the organisation and the role then you should never reject an offer outright, especially given the nature of the sales roles we recruit for, where there is such high competition. This is one of the first true tests of how good a salesperson you are, can you sell yourself? Some clients use the salary negotiation as a good test of a candidate’s sales ability and are often disappointed in many respects if they even just accept the first offer.
So how do you ask for what or how much you want?
If you do work with a recruiter, it is important to be transparent about what you really want from the outset – this information does not have to go to the client, but it always helps because it often prevents a misalignment when you get further down the process. If you have told the recruiter from an early stage in many respects it is often easier to justify. The “how” is a difficult one, it depends on how the client delivers there offers – I have had candidates go back in to visit a client because they wanted to hash out the deal face to face, whilst others will effectively ask the recruiter to negotiate on their behalf, both options have their merits.
Any tips for negotiating?
My main tip is “don’t concern yourself with money too early” – by this I mean you need to prove yourself to your potential new employer first. Yes, you need to want to work there, and you will have your own value in your mind, but, this is all irrelevant if you haven’t made the client see that value. So my main tip is, worry about discussing your price tag when you know an offer is secure because at that point in the process you are at the greatest position of strength since you officially know they want you in their company.
What to do if you don’t get quite what you wanted?
When there is a difference in what the client is willing to offer and what you want you simply have to evaluate your position to determine how aggressive to be. Are you currently employed? Is this your dream job? Do you have 1 outstanding offer or 3? All of these things need to be taken into account and they will dictate how hard you can push back in order to get what you really want. I also firmly believe that it depends on the level of the role – the higher the skillset required the more flexibility there is when it comes to salary demands. At a lower level, a lot of salaries are in bands or set in stone to ensure equality throughout the company for those in similar roles.
Should you let the recruiter be your middleman?
Completely up to the candidate, some like to take their destiny into their own hands, others like to use the barrier between them and the client to get a higher salary. Either is acceptable, more often, in a sales environment, the best salespeople will always back themselves to negotiate their own deal.
When shouldn’t you ask for more?
If you are not in a position of “strength” – maybe you are unemployed and need to get back into work. Or perhaps you know there were a few good candidates in the process and if you push too hard they will look elsewhere. The recruiter should always be able to advise on these types of things, and a good recruiter should know the limits of their clients and how much you can realistically ask for, and be a good guide.
Good things to remember
- Make sure you’re clear on your expectations and the company’s expectations around salary from the beginning. A good recruiter will make sure of this before putting you forward for any role.
- Be realistic. If the role is advertised at £30k, asking for £50k is a little unreasonable
- Never be afraid to ask.
A huge thank you to Pete Brooks for his time answering these questions. If you have any questions of your own about negotiating a salary, or for general salary advice, give us a call!
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Saleslogic is a leading sales recruitment agency in London. We specialise in digital sales jobs, SaaS sales jobs, software sales jobs and more.
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