Getting Close to an Offer AND Needing to Correct a Mistake |

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EP 1211 A woman wrote to me sharing a pretty common predicament. Here’s what I told her.

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Someone wrote to me a few days ago with a situation that you hear about all the time. Let me just walk through the scenario. I’m not going to read the exact thing because everyone is entitled to their privacy.

The scenario is she's woman over 40 and she is not bashful, but she is not use to negotiating and advocating on her own behalf. So, in the course of early interviews, she lowballed herself because she was afraid they ask for her real value and we are going to get to correct that in just a moment. But, she is being flown out for a third interview. It's going to involve a relocation. I don't know if it's a higher or lower cost of living area of the country, but she and her teen child will be making this move I (and the pets). It has to be worth her while. So, when all is said and done, she's a little apprehensive about using my tactic that I call The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary for Yourself (you can watch that video; it is extremely popular on YouTube).

So, we’re going to do this earlier and do it at the time of the interview. What do you do? The first thing is the notion ageism and taking advantage of someone who is over 40. I don't know whether gender plays into this, except on her side, whether because she conducts herself in a more fearful manner. So that can be a gender issue and we are going to respect that. But there is a way of correcting the lowball. That will occur at the time of the interview. That’s because the subject of compensation will be will arise at some point based upon what's taken place.

I want you to understand that you need to be prepared to walk away if they don't correct what you’ve recognized as your mistake. Well, the strategy starts off with you want to make them love your candidacy. You want to do an exceptional job at these meetings and make people believe that you are the solution to what they're looking for. Huge requirement here! Without it (I’m going to make a remark here that guys laugh at; I don't know how women respond to it. But guys believe that) no love, no money, no honey.

So, the goal is to make the firm fall in love. With that done, the subject of money will come up at some point, either on the trip later on where they going to try to confirm the numbers with you or when you get home. Again, it's extremely important that you win the interview. Just keep doing what you are doing. Obviously, they are flying you out, they believe that you are a solution to what they're looking for. As a result, you have a card to play because once they circle back to you do talk numbers with you they are ready to do the hire. If they don't want to do the hire, they are just going to let you know that they’ve chosen someone else. You are not their person. Yada yada yada.

So, the important thing is to make them believe that you are the solution. Once they circle back about numbers, here’s what you do.

“I realize at the time of the initial interview l said such and such as what I was looking for. But I realized that there is a cost-of-living differential between the two areas. And, frankly, I was a little nervous at the time. I’ve had a chance to do some homework and I see that the real number is ‘Y’.”

If there is a huge difference between the original number and “Y,” they're going to balk a little bit and you can talk in terms of, “That may be a bigger number than you might think of because it is quite a job here, but I want you to consider my circumstances. I want to encourage you that if you want to bring me on board, I want to encouragement you to make your strongest offer to me. My goal is to get as close this as possible. Maybe it could be done partially as a sign-on, partially with the relocation expenses been taking care of so I am not incurring anything out of pocket. Because, I really think that this is a great opportunity for me but I have responsibilities at home. I know that's not your problem; it’s mine. But, I want to join . . . “

Do you see where I’m going with this?

It's a speech that basically has you sounding like you’re agonizing here, explaining your circumstances and trying to connect person to person.

At the end of the day if they can’t afford “Y” getting close to “Y,” you have the power to say, “ no.” However, it sounds like you really want to do it but you want to be treated fairly and this lays out a case for you and why you didn't do it because you mentioned the thing about being a little nervous at the time. So, I didn’t really advocate for myself well enough. I’ve had a chance to think about it, I’ve had a chance to do some homework. There is a cost-of-living differential between the two areas. I love the job (you want to give them something here so that they feel like if they are going to go to a lot of effort, you’re not going to turn it down. “I love the job. It would really love to join but, financial it has to be worthwhile for me. I'm not talking about getting way ahead of the game. There is a cost-of-living difference between (there was nothing to indicate that locations here) there is a cost-of-living difference between living in the Bay area where you're asking me to move to and living in Asheville, North Carolina which is where I happen to be.

At the end of the day, what you want to be doing is laying out a case for yourself AFTER you’ve done great work on the interview.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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