Salary Negotiation: Understanding Deal Dynamics in a Negotiation |

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When you go into a negotiation of any sort, whether as a job hunter, a hiring employer or within an organization, this is what goes on underneath the surface.

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Here, I'm going to talk with you about negotiating. Now. The truth of the matter is this is a video that's going to be useful whether you're trying to negotiate your job offer as a job hunter or as an employer because the reality is deal dynamics exist in any situation anytime you're negotiating. These are the variations that you have to deal with.
So, for you as a job hunter, you may hear an employer ask the question, "So, where are you in your search? What else is going on for you?" You know what they’re trying to find out? It's really very simple. What they're trying to find out is do they have competition, whether you have leverage to play with them, whether there's a situation where you as a job hunter can really bargain with them because, hey, it doesn't matter. You've got three things going on.
Thus, when you don't have anything going on, they think they've got an advantage and, thus, the correct answer for the job hunter is always to say, "I'm very close to two other things right now. I really like this one a lot. But, the reality is, as I said to someone yesterday, you may not have noticed this but there's no one with my name on the Forbes or Fortune list of wealthiest Americans. So, compensation's important to me. Thus, I want to encourage you to make your strongest offer because I'm confident other firms are about to do that, as well.”
Thus, what you've done is signal to them that, "hey, you know, you don't have the leverage here. They can't really push your buttons and say, 'you know, you want to keep looking for a job or do you want this job,"' especially in recessionary times where people don't really have choices.
It's always very important that you indicate that you certainly will have choices, you're about to have choices and not give them that advantage because, ultimately, this is a question that signals who wants this more. And the one who wants it more is more willing to compromise.
Do you want to compromise?
And, for you as a hiring manager who's in a situation hearing this, often, if this is your first choice, you're starting to look at your second choice as a possibility but stick with your first one and ride that out because you never know if they're bluffing or not.
Is there a time constraint here? Do you as an employer have to bring on someone by end of year, by end of budget year, some other variable because you have to start a new project? You know, what's making it, right now, that they want to hire you and, thus, what alternatives do they have?
Now, sometimes, an employer's going to try and regain leverage by saying, "Well, I have two other people I'm talking with on finals. What's your timeline?" Or, "I have two other people that I'm talking with," and they're signaling to you that, much like you've signaled to them, that you have choices, they're trying to say that they have choices, too. That's fine.
Job hunters often respond with that knot in the pit of the stomach that says, "I'm gonna lose this," and the idea is you always want to draw them in and, for you, as the employer, you never want to give your leverage away because the reality is, ultimately, yes, you will have other choices. You've decided this is your first one but you want to get them at the right price, right?
Ultimately, what you're trying to do is to see who wants it more. What alternatives exist? What's the timeline for decision making? Can you move the needle forward right now? What's the real price point to complete the transaction?
Ultimately, when I think about most negotiations from a comp perspective, for job hunters or employers, one side really wants it more than the other and is willing to make fewer accommodations to the other side.
So, I want to remind you these are the deal dynamics and, once you're on board, there are other situations where you’re dealing with deal dynamics, as well. This subject is going to surface time and time again and you need to remind yourself, even in internal situations who wants this more? Who has the leverage here and how can you get what you want out of the situation without excessive compromise.
Notice, I used the phrase "excessive compromise," rather than “compromise. “ Ideally you want to do it without compromise.
I've got a lot more content about salary negotiation. If you go to, that will take you to my YouTube channel, or you can visit my website,


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for 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 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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

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