Walking Away from a Job Offer–There’s One More Thing

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
In this video about salary negotiation, I’m going to discuss the things you should do before you walk away from a job offer plus the one last thing to say as you walk away from their offer that may get them to change their mind and increase their job offer.

00:00 Intro
00:57 A Reminder
01:18 Let the silence do the work
02:16 Split the difference
02:34 Referring to the salary survey
03:01 Walking away

The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary for Yourself

I want to talk with you today about salary negotiation, remind you about a couple of quick techniques, and then focus in on walking away from the offer, and how to do that the right way. Not with anger, not with annoyance, but to walk away from an offer and see if you can guilt them into making a change in what they’ve proposed.

arm wrestlingI’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, I started to be called The Big Game Hunter when I did recruiting. I’d hunt down leaders and staff for organizations– did it successfully for a long time. And now people hire me for no BS coaching and career advice globally because I make things easier for people around job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, dealing with different workplace issues, and much more.

So I want to always remind you that as you’re interviewing, as you’re at the point of getting to the offer stage, always have a plan B in place. More interviews. You haven’t just waited for this one. What you’re doing is having a backup plan, just in case the negotiation doesn’t work out.  And thus, the first thing I always encourage people to do is let the silence do the work. So when the negotiation when they make the offer. And it’s come in low, you pause for a second and go, “Huh!” And this basically tells them that you’re disappointed. You don’t have to say anything. But by being quiet, and then making that sound, you’re putting pressure on them to make a change.

After you’ve done that, you basically pause and say, “I’d like a few days to think about it,” which gets them worried that they might lose you, because they’ve chosen you. And they don’t want to lose you and go back to their second choice. They don’t want to risk losing their second choice. They want to get you. So let the silence do the work is one technique.

Of course, they’ll split the difference, which I’m not really a big fan of. You know what your real value is, and being able to stand your ground really serves you. But some of you don’t have anything else going on. I understand that. So see if you can split the difference. 

There is always the technique of referring to some salary survey that identifies your value by some wide range. You’re worth 125 to 150. “I’m looking for 145.” Well, yeah, I understand that there’s a salary survey, but there’s a range in there. And we assessed you to 130, not 145. Okay, that’s the problem with the salary survey. 

The last thing is about walking away. And walking away does have benefits. Number one is you’re not desperate, it shows that you have self-confidence. You know, maybe they circle back to you with a later point and try and reopen the negotiation. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen from time to time. And you maintain self-respect, which clearly has value. The last thing I want you to do before you walk away, and noargument one really talks about this part of it. They just basically say walk away from the offer.

Job Interviews Falling Flat? Your Attitude May Be To Blame

But before you walk away, if you’re in-person, you stop at the door with your hand on the doorknob, maybe the door’s open a little bit, and you look back over your shoulder and say to the person who’s extended the offer. “I’m sorry. I apologize for not being able to sufficiently impress you.”

“What do you mean? We made you an offer?”

“Yeah, but you made a lowball offer, and, obviously, you settled for me, rather than valuing me as I do. So I apologize.”

Basically what you’re doing is making them feel guilty. Doesn’t always work. It’s a one-last shot attempt. And what you’re able to do sometimes is reopen the conversation about what you can do for them because the next part of this may be, if they invite you to sit back down, and this could be done on camera can be done on phone, by the phone. If the offer was extended over the phone, however, it is the idea is to start off with the apology. “What do you mean?” “Well, if I had sufficiently impressed you, you would have extended an offer at the right price for me. So I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do that. And I know what I can do is . . . ” and then you start to resell your capabilities.

You talk about the things in your background that relate to the role. What you’ve done previously. And now you’re in there selling again.  And sometimes they’ll throw their hands up and go, “Okay, we’ll come up with more money. Give me a day or two,” or they’ll say, “I’m sorry, we just didn’t see it” or “it wasn’t within budget.” And it doesn’t make you worth less. If anything, reiterating what it is that you could have done for this organization had they been smart enough to value you properly, instead of deciding to go to their second choice, or start interviewing again, is worth it for you.  I hope you found this helpful.

I’m Jeff Altman. My website is TheBigGameHunter.us. Go to the blog and go exploring. There’s a lot there to help you. And if you have questions about salary negotiation, you can book time with me for advice about that. Or if you just have questions about job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, and much more, again, you can book time for Trusted Advisor Services. I’d be happy to answer your questions. Also, if you decide that this is happening too often, and you need help with interviewing, or any element of your job search or post-employment with the things that I’ve spoken about previously, you can schedule time for coaching. Or if you’re not sure, a free discovery call so I can help you.  Lastly, connect with me on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/TheBigGameHunter. Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

The Second Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterPeople hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ career easier. Those things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues.

Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us


He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

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