How to negotiate an offer

Receiving a job offer is an exciting moment, as it can demonstrate that your search is coming to an end. Often, you need time to assess the role and decide whether to accept or decline it. This decision may rely on your ability to negotiate specific priorities into the deal, such as compensation requirements. In this article, we offer guidance to help you negotiate, accept or decline a job offer.

What is a job offer?

A job offer is an invitation that an employer gives to a candidate to work for the company. The employer may begin with an informal verbal offer, then follow up with a formal document outlining the employment details. These details may include the individual's job title, salary, start date and information about the company's benefits package. After reviewing the terms, the potential employee may decide to accept, decline or negotiate the offer.

How to decide when to accept, decline or negotiate a job offer

When you receive a job offer, the employer typically provides a deadline for you to confirm your decision. Rather than acting too quickly, use this time to carefully assess it and determine whether the job is the right fit. You can use the following steps after receiving a job offer to prepare your response:

1. Assess your wants and needs

Having an idea of the priorities you look for in a job can help you decide on an offer. These priorities can refer to both long- and short-term professional goals. They can also refer to practical needs, such as compensation. You can ask yourself questions and use the answers as a framework for evaluating a job. Examples of questions that you can ask yourself may include:

  • What are my career goals?
  • What are my professional and personal values?
  • What type of work do I enjoy doing?
  • What is my ideal work environment?
  • What are my salary expectations or needs?
  • What are my benefits expectations or needs?

2. Evaluate the offer

Once you understand your wants and needs in a position, you can review the job offer to determine whether it aligns with them. Some of your priorities may be readily available in the offer, such as your starting salary, benefits and work schedule. Other priorities may require you to research the position and organization, which you can do by reviewing their website and the job description. You also may have gained important insights into the job during the interview process.

Next, use the information you have and compare it to the list of priorities you developed. The evaluation process will vary based on your specific wants and needs, but you can use the following list as example factors to assess:

  • Salary
  • Benefits package
  • Day-to-day job responsibilities
  • Job requirements, such as regular travel
  • Work flexibility
  • Work environment
  • Available development or training opportunities
  • Workplace culture
  • Company reputation
  • Company values and mission

3. Develop a plan

Now that you have evaluated the job offer, you can determine how to proceed. If you do not find any issues, you may decide to take the job. In this scenario, you'll provide verbal or written confirmation to the employer that you would like to accept the job offer as is. Typically, this would mean that the original offer meets all or most of your requirements, and you have no interest in negotiating.

Even if the job does not meet all your requirements, you may still have an interest. Then you can consider making a counteroffer. Before starting the negotiation process, develop a list of the top priorities that you aim to obtain. You can also draft a list of items that you are willing to concede as a demonstration of your flexibility. For example, you may determine that the salary is not perfect, but you would accept it if the role offered more opportunities to work from home or access to training programs.

4. Start job negotiations

When starting the negotiation process, set up a time to discuss the matter over the phone or in person. You may begin this type of interaction by saying something like, "I appreciate your job offer, but there are a few items I would like to discuss before making my decision." Then you can introduce the specific items you would like to negotiate with the company.

Make sure you prepare research and evidence that supports your need for a higher salary or additional benefits. For example, you can research the average salary for the role to demonstrate your worth. You want to appear confident, so also try to bring examples of your accomplishments and qualifications to showcase your value as an employee. In a negotiation, be careful to balance firmness with flexibility. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want, but remember to show you are willing to adjust your expectations when necessary.

5. Make a final decision

As the negotiation process progresses or comes to a conclusion, you'll have to decide your response to the job offer. If negotiations go well and the employer has met all or most of your needs, then you may want to accept the job. If negotiations seem to stall and the company cannot sufficiently meet your needs, then you may want to conclude the conversation. At that point, you may decide it is in your best interest to decline the offer. Whatever the decision, make sure it meets your best interests.

6. Convey your decision

After making your decision, tell the employer as soon as possible. You can convey your acceptance of an offer during a conversation, whether in-person or over the phone. To display your professionalism, send a more formal follow-up email or letter. This message can also help you obtain written confirmation of employment details, such as your job title, compensation and start date.

If you decide to decline the job offer, you can take a similar approach by conveying the message verbally and then following up with a more formal email or letter to confirm your decision. You can keep the letter brief and do not need to include specific or personal details about why you made the decision. Make sure to communicate your appreciation for their consideration and the offer. Even though you will not be working with the company, you want to maintain a positive relationship. You may have an interest in a future job opportunity there.

Tips for negotiating a job offer

If you decide to negotiate the job offer, you can use the following tips to navigate this process successfully:

Have you recently been offered a job? Whether it’s the job of your dreams or something you’ll likely turn down, you may be wondering how to proceed. After all, most industries are small worlds. Regardless of whether you intend to accept the job, you’ll want to conduct yourself in a way that won’t come back to haunt you later.

What to Do When You Get a Job Offer

When you receive a job offer, you typically don’t want to say “yes” and take the job on the spot. Even if you know you want the job, take the time to evaluate the job offer to be absolutely certain that the position is right for you. Then decide if the compensation package is reasonable.

If you don’t think you want the job, there may be a good reason to decline the offer. But, do take the time to evaluate it, and carefully consider what you should.

Learn how to handle job offers in the best way possible to get the job you want, and the salary and benefits you deserve.

Evaluate the Offer

When you are offered a job, first ask for some time to consider the offer. Be sure to emphasize your gratitude and your interest in the job, and then ask if there is a deadline by which you have to make your decision. If you think you need more time than they give you, it is okay to ask for a bit more time. However, do not put off the decision for so long that they rescind your offer.

During this decision-making time, evaluate the job offer:

  • Be sure to take into account the entire compensation package, not just the salary.
  • Consider the benefits and perks, the time you would spend traveling, the hours, and the company culture.

If the job offer is conditional (for example, if you have to undergo certain screenings or background checks before the offer is official), be sure you know exactly what you have to do for the offer to go into effect.

Does it ever make sense to take a job you don’t think you want? There isn’t really a right or wrong answer, but there are times when it may be in your best interests to accept. This is especially true if you need a job in a hurry, or if the job is a necessary step toward something better.

Make sure you have considered all of the alternatives and weighed your options prior to making a decision to accept or reject a position.

Consider a Counter Offer

If the offer is not what you were hoping for, you may want to think about a counter offer, or you may decide that this isn’t the best job for you. Once you have decided whether to negotiate, accept, or reject the job offer, it’s time to notify the company of your decision.

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

If you have evaluated the job and are interested in the position but feel the offer could be stronger, consider negotiating.

There are a number of steps you can take to negotiate effectively. First, research salaries for the job to get a sense of what you’re worth. Think about what combination of salary and benefits would work for you – this will be your counter offer. Then, send a counter offer letter or email message to the employer to begin the conversation about the counter offer.

Keep in mind that, while you should negotiate for a fair salary and benefits package, you have to know when to stop negotiating and either accept the job offer or walk away. If you push too hard, the employer can withdraw a job offer.

Accept a Job Offer

You have found a job that you like, and are happy with the compensation package. Congratulations!

Even if you accept the job over the phone or in person, you should still officially accept the job with a polite, formal job offer acceptance letter. This letter provides you with a chance to confirm the details of the offer (including the salary, benefits, job title, and start date of employment). It’s also a chance to demonstrate your professionalism.

Decline a Job Offer

Even if you’re desperately seeking employment, if you know a job isn’t going to be a good fit, it might make sense to decline the offer. There are many times when this might be the best course of action. Of course, a salary and benefits package that doesn’t offer what you need is a good reason to say no to a job (especially if you’ve already tried negotiating). Similarly, if you think you would have a hostile relationship with your boss, if the company seems financially unstable, or if the organization has a high rate of employee turnover, you should think twice about taking the job.

If you have evaluated a job offer and decided it is not right for you, you have to decline the offer. A polite letter declining a job offer will help you maintain a positive relationship with the employer, which will be important if you ever apply for another position at the same company. In the letter, be sure to express your appreciation for the offer, and clearly state that you cannot accept the position. You should not go into detail about why you are not taking the job, especially if it is for reasons that might offend the employer (for example, if you disliked the supervisor or feel the company is unstable financially).

If you have already accepted a job offer, and then decide you do not want it, you need to let the employer know you’ve changed your mind as quickly (and politely) as possible.

Withdrawing From Consideration

You might want to withdraw from consideration from a job before you have received an offer. Typically, you would do this after receiving an invitation for an interview but before you receive a job offer. You might withdraw from consideration if you decide the job (or the company) is absolutely not right for you, or if you receive and accept another job offer. Be sure to send a letter or email stating your withdrawal.

What if the Job Offer is Rescinded?

Unfortunately, sometimes job offers get either rescinded or put on hold. If a company withdraws an offer, there is little you can do about it legally. However, there are steps you can take to handle the situation, such as asking for your old job back if you had a good relationship with the employer. If the job offer is put on hold, there are ways that you can politely follow up while continuing on with your job search.

The Bottom Line

EVALUATE THE JOB OFFER: Consider the compensation package, including benefits and perks. Think about aspects of the job like travel, hours, and company culture.

NEGOTIATE, IF NECESSARY: If you like the job, but feel the compensation could be more competitive, consider negotiating the offer.

ACCEPT OR DECLINE WITH GRACE: Be sure to send a letter formally accepting or declining the offer. Express your appreciation and thanks for the opportunity.

How to negotiate an offer

You polished your LinkedIn profile and resume, nailed your interview questions and you’ve received an offer for an exciting new position. But when you view the offer letter, the compensation isn’t as high as you expected. Now what?

Negotiating an offer letter can feel intimidating, especially if this is your first time. It’s natural to worry that if you ask for additional compensation, you might risk losing the offer altogether. We call this a “scarcity mindset”– you’re so focused on what could go wrong, you’re paralyzed and can’t take action.

Here’s the good news: if a company is ready to hire you, a reasonable counteroffer would rarely cause them to withdraw their original job offer. You may not get everything you ask for, and in some cases, the company may be unable to budge. However, you’ll never know what’s possible if you don’t ask.

These are some strategies for smart counteroffer negotiations:

  1. Start with base salary. Many hiring managers and recruiters will check with you during the interview process to confirm your base salary expectations align with the expected salary range for this position. For example, perhaps you’ve been told this position has a range of 125-145K based on experience and interview performance. Does the base salary you’re offered fall in this range? Using this example range, let’s say you the company offers 128K. This number is towards the lower end of the range and it’s okay to come back and ask for 140K or 145K. Asking for 200K, however, wouldn’t be a reasonable counteroffer. It’s significantly outside the expected salary range. If the company holds firm on their salary offer, ask about expected salary increases in the next 12-24 months. If you meet performance expectations, could your salary be bumped to the top of the range after 12 months? Be sure to get any agreements for future salary adjustments in writing.
  2. Negotiate a signing bonus. If the company won’t budge on base salary, one option to make up the difference is a signing bonus. This approach can be beneficial for both of you: you’ll get additional compensation, and the company could add certain conditions to the bonus, like a separation clause, requiring the bonus to be paid back if you leave within the first 90 or 180 days. Depending on when you’re leaving your current company, you may be walking away from your annual bonus. If that’s the case, this is another point to include in your compensation negotiations. For example, you might be able to negotiate a signing bonus to offset part or all of your expected annual bonus.
  3. Ask about a retention bonus. Another creative solution for closing the salary gap is a retention bonus. Like a signing bonus, the company can add stipulations for payout, like completing at least one year with a satisfactory performance review. Suppose the company is concerned about talent retention or entering an especially crucial business cycle. In that case, this type of bonus can be very appealing because it incentivizes your continued employment with the company. The bonus may have a tiered payout structure over several years with payout increasing each year. For example, you might receive 20% of the bonus after year one, 35% after year two, and 45% after year three.
  4. Consider remote work benefits. As hybrid workweeks gain popularity, where you work could be a negotiating option. For example, if the company currently has a flexible location policy, but you’re concerned this may change in the coming months, you could have a remote work clause added to your contract. Suppose work from home is the norm for this company. In that case, you could also negotiate a stipend to upgrade your home office with more ergonomic furniture or even offset the costs associated with high-speed fiber internet or a mobile hotspot. Compared with a salary increase or bonus, these benefits may be “low-cost” for the company but offer a significant quality of life enhancement for you.
  5. Consider other benefit options. There’s a range of benefits to consider from health coverage and gym stipends to flexible PTO days and continuing education. Even if your company offers unlimited time off, you could negotiate for a future sabbatical or the option to take several consecutive weeks off. Don’t overlook possible benefits with tuition reimbursement, skill certification, paid conference attendance, and more.

A creative approach to offer letter negotiation can help close the compensation gap even if a base salary can’t change. While countering an offer letter can feel scary, when you go in with a clear plan and backup options, you’ll feel more confident asking for what you’re worth– and the company will have more opportunities to meet you in the middle. That’s a win-win for everyone.

Job offer negotiations are an essential and expected part of finding a job because this process allows you to demonstrate the worth your expertise provides to a company. Knowing your worth can help you accurately present your qualifications and secure the compensation, benefits and other elements of a job offer that best match the value of your education and experience. If you are considering a job offer and you would like to negotiate pay or benefits, it may be helpful to review this article about how to negotiate job offers.

What is a job offer negotiation?

A job offer negotiation is a process of negotiating benefits, salary or other aspects of a potential job that you are interested in taking. Job offers are extended when a company wants you to become a member of their team. They tend to offer you a salary and benefits that they believe is fair. However, you may decide that you would like higher pay or different benefits. In this case, you would try to negotiate with the employer to meet your needs as well as theirs.

What is part of a job offer?

The part of a job offer is when you negotiate with a company for a good position, benefits and salary. The employment and role details are negotiating for pay or position appropriate for your skills and education or for more money or a more senior position. Other forms of compensation such as benefits can be a part of the negotiation during a Job offer. These negotiations are important to your career because they can give you a better salary or more seniority. To be successful in a job negotiation, you must know when to leverage your skills, education and experience for a better position and salary.

How to negotiate during a job offer

Consider these steps to help you to negotiate your job offer successfully:

1. First, decide how much money you need in a job offer negotiation

Assess how much money you need to live on and how much money you will need for retirement. Be realistic about a sustainable budget for your job offer negotiations, assessing how much you need for your current life requirements and retirement savings.

2. Second, determine how far you want to go in your career

Your final goal may be to learn enough from your career that you can start your own business or even become a CEO at the company. Having a clear idea of your career goals can put you in a strong position to negotiate a start to your career and the salary you earn. Having a good idea of where you want to go in your career and how much salary you need can give you a better career trajectory and a higher salary.

3. Third, assess what benefits you need and want

Some benefits you may want or need include medical, dental and vision insurance. Family leave and work from home flexibility are also benefits some companies offer. Some companies offer vacation, sick days and paid time off (PTO). Remember the importance of learning opportunities for your career and the effect it can have on your professional advancement. Tuition reimbursement is a benefit that some companies offer to give employees a career boost and create skilled workers for the company.

4. Fourth, research the average salary and benefits for your position

Research benefits in the context of the position, industry and area where you live. Your leadership experience, education level, years of industry experience, license or certifications, skills and current career level should make a difference in how you negotiate when discussing your salary and position. Asking other people working in your chosen industry for information can also be useful. Many companies don’t have salary or benefits information posted, so industry research is essential. Research can give you a stronger stance to negotiate for a better career start and salary.

5. Fifth, focus on position and salary

An employer wants to know what value you will bring in exchange for the career opportunity and the salary they offer. Focus on position and salary rather than your personal reasons for a particular stance in job offer negotiations.

6. Next, present value to your employer

When talking to the hiring manager, you can show your value to an employer by coming to a job offer negotiation with a list of knowledge and skills you have as well as previous work experience related to the position. Relate your knowledge, experience and skills to the job and the company culture when you are discussing a job negotiation with a hiring manager. Showing that your knowledge, experience and skills relate to the job and to the company can give you an edge in negotiations.

7. Then, accept the offer, make a counteroffer or reject the offer

When you accept an offer, ask what the next steps are to be hired. With making a counteroffer, be realistic about how much you can counteroffer based on the salary and benefits offered. Show the hiring manager why you are making the counteroffer based on your skills, knowledge and experience. Be firm and polite about how you can add value but be realistic when you reach an impasse because of an offer that does not meet your expectations, goals or needs. It is acceptable to walk away from a job offer negotiation that does not meet your criteria, does not follow industry standards in general or geographical-specific standards for the area, or that does not reflect your hard work to improve your education, knowledge and skills.

8. Finally, send a polite thank-you note or email to the hiring manager

Thank the manager for their consideration of the counteroffer. Keeping on good terms with hiring managers is essential to establish your credibility in your chosen industry.

Are you negotiating a job offer or a raise in pay in your current role? If so, a lot depends on what you do right now, before you even begin salary negotiations. Do your homework, and you could wind up with more money in your pocket and maybe some life-changing perks and benefits, too.

How Much Are You Worth?

Especially if you’re negotiating with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much your skills and experience are worth in today’s job market. Take the time to research salaries long before you even begin discussing pay. That way you will be prepared to make your case and land a job offer that’s realistic and reasonable.

What Are Salary Negotiations?

Salary negotiations involve discussing a job offer with a potential employer to settle on a salary and benefits package that’s in line with the market (and hopefully, that meets or exceeds your needs).

The most productive salary negotiations occur between people who realize that they have a common goal: to get the employee paid appropriately for their skills and experience.

Negotiations needn’t be adversarial, and no one has to get aggressive. If you’re a reluctant negotiator, it might help to keep in mind that you’re on the same side.

Negotiations can include all aspects of compensation, including salary, bonuses, stock options, benefits, perks, vacation time, and more.  

How to Calculate Your Take-Home Pay

When you’re considering a job offer, it’s important to know the bottom line. How much will you be bringing home after taxes, FICA deductions for Social Security and Medicare, and contributions to health insurance and retirement benefits?   That number is your net pay.

You can use free salary and paycheck calculators to estimate your net pay and figure out roughly how much you’ll bring home in your paycheck. It’s important to get a ballpark figure before you negotiate or compare job offers.

Salary Negotiation Tips

  1. Wait for the Appropriate Time: Once you know what you should be earning, how do you go about getting it? Start by being patient. When interviewing for a new position, do your best not to bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer.
  2. Resist Throwing out the First Number: If you’re asked what your salary requirements are, say that they are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you’d like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.
  3. Base Your Salary Request on Data: If you’re forced to give a number, provide a salary range based upon the research you’ve done up front. Use this research to inform your negotiating technique. Talk about what’s appropriate for the role, based on your experience and what you have to offer. Resist the temptation to talk about your personal financial needs.
  4. Take Your Time: Once you’ve received the offer, you don’t need to accept (or reject) it right away. A simple “I need to think it over” can get you an increase in the original offer.
  5. Consider Saying No: If you’re ambivalent about the position, a “no” can bring you a better offer. Just be careful not to decline a job you really want. There’s always a risk that the employer may accept your answer and move on to the next candidate.
  6. Negotiate Benefits: Consider whether there are employee benefits and perks that might be negotiable, even if the salary isn’t. For example, the employer might be willing to offer you telecommuting privileges once a week, or an alternate schedule. Depending on your preferences and situation, arrangements like that might be worth accepting a slightly lower paycheck.

Negotiating a Raise

  • Prepare: If you are currently employed and want a raise, start by being prepared. Gather your salary research, average raise data, recent performance appraisals that document your achievements, and any other relevant information. Be aware of company policy regarding compensation. Some employers are limited by budget constraints and can only give raises at certain times of the year, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Have a Clear Idea of What You Want: Determine the salary range you’re looking for and the justification for the increase and have both ready to review with your supervisor.
  • Be Flexible: Would you consider an extra couple of weeks of vacation instead of a raise? I know someone who has regularly taken time-off instead of money and now has six vacation weeks a year.
  • Request a Meeting With Your Supervisor to Discuss Salary: Present your request, supported by documentation, calmly and rationally. Don’t ask for an immediate answer.

Your boss is most likely going to have to discuss it with Human Resources and/or other company managers.

What to Do If the Employer Won’t Budge

Despite your best efforts, there may simply not be enough money in the budget to increase your salary or compensation package offer. The company may also not want to create inequities by paying one person more than others in a similar position.

In that case, you can at least know you tried. Plus, if this is a job you really think that you’re going to love, consider whether the company culture, the benefits, and the job itself are worth it – regardless of the salary.

How to negotiate an offer

Interviewing for jobs can be grueling. But if you manage to drum up the right answers to trick interview questions and prove you’re worth hiring, there’s light at the end of the tunnel: a job offer.

Once that offer letter hits your inbox, you know what you’re supposed to do next. Always negotiate. That’s easier said than done, especially if you desperately want the job and it’s already a pretty good offer. Is asking for more money or a better compensation package pushing it?

Fortunately, there are people who specialize in coaching candidates through this mission-critical moment. One of them, Karen Catlin, is a 25-year tech veteran who now advocates for women in tech. She’s a speaker and coach who helps clients get better salaries, signing bonuses and higher-level roles.

Catlin recently shared one of her favorite negotiation tips in a blog post. It all comes down to one, succinct sentence. Not only will it get you more money, Catlin says, but recruiters love to hear it. (She actually got the tip from interviewing recruiters.)

The 12 magic words? “If you can get me X, I’ll accept the offer right away.”

Catlin recently encouraged a young woman to use this tactic who was deciding between three job offers. The one she was most excited about was also the highest offer. But Catlin thought she could get more. The candidate used that exact phrasing and asked for 5 percent more. Two days later, her counter offer was accepted. She accepted on the spot.

Why hiring managers love to hear these words

Recruiters and hiring managers expect candidates to counter. But there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. There are a few reasons why this particular phrase is so effective in getting you more money.

It shows you really want the job

Hiring managers look for more than competency and cultural fit. They want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the role and company. It’s one reason why ending your interview with a candid statement could sway the hiring manager in your favor.

When it comes time to negotiate, using this phrase shows the hiring manager how excited you are about this job. They know you’re likely considering other offers. But now you’re telling them you’re willing to forget the others because this is The One.

It eliminates the back-and-forth

Catlin says there’s often some wiggle room in the salary or the compensation package. If the hiring manager knows you’re ready to sign on the dotted line, that gives her some leverage. She’s more likely to be able to meet your request if she already knows you will say yes.

“Assuming it’s a reasonable request, the recruiter has something tangible to bring back to the hiring committee,” Catlin writes. “It’s easier to make a case to dip into the reserves if the recruiter knows you’ll say yes.”

It displays confidence

No one wants to hire a wishy washy candidate. They want people who take action. That’s exactly what this negotiation tactic does. You’re not just asking for more money, crossing your fingers that they’ll say yes. You’re laying out a clear course of action. One that involves a better offer to move forward.

“Recruiters also love this approach because it demonstrates a decisive leadership style,” Catlin says. “Chances are, they want to hire people like that.”

While the candidate from Catlin’s success story asked for a higher salary, remember you can make other requests at this point. Some other example:

If you can get me one work-from-home day a week, I’ll accept the offer right away.

If you can get me one more week of PTO, I’ll accept the offer right away.

If you can get me a corner office, daily visits from a massage therapist and a personal chef, I’ll accept the offer right away.

OK obviously kidding on the last one, but you get the point. There are a lot of things you can ask for beyond a higher salary. As long as the ask is reasonable, you have a pretty good chance at landing an awesome job that comes with an even awesomer offer.

Congratulations! You just received a new job offer. The salary and health insurance looks great. You scan the rest of the benefits package and, oh no, there’s a problem! The PTO sucks. It’s either a small amount (say 2 weeks) or a lot less than you have now (3-4 weeks). Your first thought is, “Well, maybe I could survive that first year with less, because I don’t want to lose this offer.” Your second thought is, “When does the allotment increase? Not until my FIFTH ANNIVERSARY!” Your third thought is, “This is my fault. I should have been more upfront during the interview.” Then, you stop thinking and panic sets in.

HOW TO NEGOTIATE PAID TIME OFF (without seeming greedy or losing the job)

Remember, companies are used to negotiating. Take heart. Employers are used to increasing PTO after an offer has gone out, and in my experience, PTO is a far easier topic than salary. Take a look at the results of Careerbuilder’s 2015 study on what drives people to consider a new job. If you add together Improved Benefits and Improved Work/Life Balance, both of which can describe vacation allotment, its only 1% less than the top driver (compensation).

Unassuming approach. Upon receiving the offer, call the hiring manager and start the dialogue with a simple question to grease the wheels. Then mention you saw the PTO schedule and its quite a bit less than you need.

  • Ask, “Is there anything they can do to increase the amount?”
  • Follow up right away by softening it with, “Perhaps I’m missing something. Are other days like sick, personal, volunteer and floating holidays separate from the vacation schedule?”

How to negotiate an offer

Receiving more PTO from your current employer is usually enough justification. If the hiring manager presses for a reason, it’s easy to point to work/life balance, some upcoming vacation time, or even personal commitments you will have throughout the year. The last thing you want to do is give the appearance you’re making requests for special exceptions when you know these times of commitments will arise.

Very rarely will negotiating PTO stain your reputation. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out with some employers it might create grave concerns.

Do you want to pay less for products that you really want?

There are a series of price negotiating tactics that you can use to get a better price for nearly any product.

If you are in sales you can also use these to negotiate the price of the products you are buying or selling.

These techniques also work in long-term business arrangements, where you will be working with the same party again, year after year.

These are 5 negotiation skills that you should be prepared to use in any selling situation.

1) How to Negotiate Price Using “The Flinch”

No matter what price the other person offers, flinch as if you just heard something very disappointing. Put a sad look on your face. Roll your eyes upward and back as though you were experiencing great pain.

Say something like, “Wow! That’s an awful lot of money!”

Surprisingly, sometimes just flinching will cause the other person to drop or increase the price immediately. And if the first flinch gets you a lower price when you are buying, or a higher offer if you are selling, be prepared to use the flinch again and again throughout the negotiation.

2) Asking Questions as a Negotiation Skill

Ask, “Is that the best you can do? Can’t you do any better than that?”

When you ask the price and the person tells you the price, you pause, look surprised, or even shocked, and say, “Is that the best you can do?”

And then remain perfectly silent. If there is any flexibility in the price, very often, the other person will drop the price immediately, or raise their offer immediately.

If they lower their price in response to, “Is that the best you can do,” you then say, “Is that the very best you can do?”

Ask, “Couldn’t you do any better than that?”

You can also ask, “What is the best you can do if I make a decision today?”

This adds an element of urgency and triggers the fear of losing the sale in the mind of the vendor.

3) How to Negotiate Price Using Assertion

Whatever price they give you for a particular item, you immediately reply, “I can get this cheaper somewhere else.”

Whenever you tell a person that you can get that item cheaper somewhere else, from one of their competitors, they immediately soften and begin to back pedal on the price. When you use this negotiation tactic to tell people you can get it cheaper somewhere else, they lose their confidence and become much more open to negotiating with you on a better price, rather than lose the sale altogether.

The assertion, “I can get this cheaper elsewhere,” often demolishes price resistance because they think that you will go somewhere else.

Remember to make it easy for a person to give you concessions. Don’t be adversarial or confrontational. Be a nice person. When you ask in a pleasant way, it’s much easier for the person to concede to you than if you are serious or aggressive.

4) Lowballing in Negotiations

When they ask you for $100, you lowball your answer and say, “I’ll give you $50 cash right now.”

Whenever you offer cash immediately, the price resistance of the other party diminishes dramatically. There are reasons why offering an all-cash deal causes people to be more open to doing business with you. The three most obvious ones are reduced inventory costs, no credit card merchant fees, and the feeling of “instant gratification.”

Sometimes, you will offer them $50 for a $100 item, and they will come back with an offer of $60. Very often you will find that even if you lowball at a price that seems ridiculous, they will sell it to you for far less than you ever thought you were ever going to have to pay.

5) Using “The Nibble” Negotiation Tactic

A nibble is an add-on.

You say something like, “Okay, I’ll agree to this price if you will throw in free delivery.”

If they hesitate about adding something else into the deal.

You can say in a pleasant way, “If you won’t include free delivery, then I don’t want the deal at all.”

Make it clear that you are willing to walk away if they are not willing to add something complementary to the deal.

Here is the key to how to negotiate the nibble. Agree on the purchase of the main item. Agree on the price and terms. Make it appear as if it is a done deal. The other person thinks they have sold the item, even a house, a car, or a boat, at a price that they are happy to receive. Then you add on additional requests.

Use these negotiation techniques to secure the best prices for yourself in business sales and in life. Never be afraid to ask for a better price, remember that prices are an arbitrary number for the most a salesperson thinks you’re willing to pay. You can almost always get a better price.

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.