Salary Negotiation Coaching: Common Questions and Answers

Everything you need to know to decide if Salary Negotiation Coaching to decide if it's right for you

by Josh Doody

You probably have some questions about Salary Negotiation Coaching, and things are probably moving quickly with your job offers. So here’s a quick overview of the most common questions people ask about Salary Negotiation Coaching.

If your questions aren’t answered here, contact me any time and I’m happy to answer other questions you might have. Or we can always discuss any questions or concerns you have on our next phone call!


How do we get started?

Once we have talked about your situation and I have determined the best next steps for you, I will send you a Letter of Engagement to review and sign. Once you sign the Letter of Engagement, then we will begin working together.

When is payment due?

The fees for your Salary Negotiation Coaching engagement will be due once our work is complete.

Please see the “Fee Payment” section below for an in-depth explanation of the fees for Salary Negotiation Coaching, how they are paid, and when they are paid.

What’s it like to work with you for Salary Negotiation Coaching? How will we communicate?

Every engagement is different and you will have a lot of input into how we work together.

Most engagements are a mix of check-in calls, mock negotiations, email communications, collaborating on Google Docs (like email drafts), and other touch-points as well depending on what you prefer.

Typically, I communicate with clients on a phone call for our strategy call (about an hour), and then we communicate through email and collaborate using Google Drive for much of our work after that. Some clients prefer to communicate exclusively through text message. Some prefer email. Some clients like to jump on a call occasionally.

At the end of the day, we’ll work together in a way that is best for you and that allows us to get you the best possible result.

What’s your availability during negotiations?

I tend to work US East Coast business hours (9 to 5) on business days, which has always worked well for my clients. For negotiation emergencies, I may work outside of those hours, but these sorts of emergencies are very rare since most companies also work US business hours.

How does it work?

I’ll start by setting up a Google Drive folder, which we’ll use to collaborate throughout your negotiation(s). I’ll share some documents with you and get your input so that we get off to a smooth start.

Then we’ll schedule our strategy call where I’ll learn more about your situation, do a deep dive into your opportunities, and develop a strategy for your situation.

Then we’ll negotiate! This typically starts with determining your risk tolerance and the appropriate level of aggression for your specific situation. From there, we can determine the right counter offer—which component of the offer we’ll focus on first, and how much we’ll counter. Then I’ll write your counter offer and collaborate with you to polish it up before we send it. Once we’ve countered, we’ll focus on preparing for the next stages of your negotiation including scripting your conversations with the recruiter, rehearsing your scripts, and whatever else we need to make sure you’re fully prepared for the final stages of your negotiation.

Each negotiation is different because each situation, candidate, opportunity, and company is different. I’ll usually be able to walk you through your strategy at the end of our strategy call.

Once we’ve finished negotiating, you’ll choose the opportunity that’s best for you and I’m happy to consult with you about that decision as well.


Josh helped me negotiate with Alphabet to get an additional $160k in annual compensation.

Bringing Josh on made a huge difference for me — no way I would have ended up with that number without his help. Whether you’re a mid-level engineer or an executive — to me it’s a no brainer to work with Josh.” -Taylor, Executive at Alphabet

How much does it cost?

Depending upon the complexity of the situation and your needs, the strategy fee is between $3,000 and $6,000. The result fee is 10% of the improvement we negotiate in your first year’s compensation (salary, equity, sign-on bonus).

Why are there two fees for Salary Negotiation Coaching?

There are two fees for Salary Negotiation Coaching: A strategy fee and a result fee.

Strategy fee

The strategy fee covers all aspects of your salary negotiation. It ensures that I can provide the best quality strategy for every client.

Result fee

The result fee is due only when we improve your job offer, and is 10% of the improvement to your first-year compensation that we negotiate.

The result fee is to ensure that our incentives are aligned throughout our engagement and to help us both share directly in the results. Sometimes, a company is very flexible and will significantly improve their offer through negotiation. Sometimes they are inflexible and their first offer is also their best offer. We cannot know which case applies to your offer until we negotiate, and the result fee enables us to work together knowing that we will share in the result.

You keep 90% of the negotiated first-year compensation improvement, and I collect the remaining 10%.

If the company does not budge on their offer when we negotiate, I don’t collect any result fee.

Besides the strategy fee and result fee, are there any other fees for Salary Negotiation Coaching?

No. There are no additional fees beyond the strategy fee and the result fee.

How does equity that vests over multiple years affect the result fee?

The equity portion of the result fee will only take into account the equity that vests for the first year. It’s probably easiest to explain this with a simple example.

If we were to negotiate an additional $100,000 in total equity, and that equity vests equally over four years (25% per year), then we would only consider 25% of that $100,000 improvement in equity in the result fee calculation.

So the result fee for the equity portion of the negotiation would be calculated as follows:

The equity vesting in the first year would be $25,000 (25% of the additional $100,000 in equity we negotiated), and the result fee for the equity would be 10% of $25,000, or $2,500.

Is there a cap on the result fee?

There is no cap on the result fee.

The result fee, and specifically the un-capped result fee, is a crucial component of my offering that guarantees that our incentives are perfectly aligned throughout our work together. When the result fee gets large, that means your result was large as well, so we both have something to aim for and to celebrate.

What if I have multiple job offers?

All of your current negotiations are covered under your strategy fee. We’ll negotiate all of your offers for this cycle and then you’ll choose the offer that is most appealing to you. Once you’ve chosen that offer, we’ll calculate your result fee based on the offer you chose (ignoring the other offers).

If you have three offers in hand and two more come in while we’re negotiating, we’ll negotiate all five of those offers.

If you have 10 offers in hand and we negotiate one for your dream job, and you decide not to negotiate the others, then we’ll just negotiate that one offer.

If we negotiate all of your current offers and you don’t choose one, then we’ll pause until you find one worthy of negotiating and try again.

Basically, we’ll negotiate your offers until you find one that works for you.

Why is Salary Negotiation Coaching worth the cost?

There are two main benefits to Salary Negotiation Coaching. The first benefit is that you will know for sure that you have negotiated the best possible compensation package for your new job. For most of my clients, even a 2–3% increase in their job offer more than covers the cost of salary negotiation coaching, and the average result is more than a 15% improvement in first-year compensation (that’s an average 7% increase in salary, almost 60% more equity, and more than 25% improvement in a sign-on bonus).

Of course, these results are on a scale from “no flexibility” to “way more than that”, but those are the averages.

The second main benefit is that you will learn how to negotiate your job offers from now on throughout your career. You’ll learn a valuable skill that you can use to negotiate your own offers, or to help your friends and family negotiate their offers as well. We will collaborate throughout your salary negotiation so that you know exactly what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and you’ll have input every step of the way.

My spouse/partner/friends say your fee is too high and I should just do it myself. What do you say to that?

If we don’t work together to negotiate your offer, please please please make sure you negotiate it yourself! Some type of negotiation is better than no negotiation.

But the best type of negotiation is working with a professional who does this for a living—that’s me! For most of my clients, my strategy fee is 1–2% of their total compensation at most, which means my fee is a relatively small investment with tremendous upside.

It’s difficult to quantify how much you could be leaving on the table when you don’t negotiate optimally, but it’s probably several times my fee.

Investing a tiny fraction of your total compensation to work with a professional salary negotiator and avoid leaving multiples of my fee on the table seems like a good investment, but that’s ultimately for you to decide.

Are your fees negotiable?

My fees are not negotiable. Salary Negotiation Coaching isn’t for everyone and that’s ok!

Fee Payment

When is payment due?

Once we have completed our work together, I will calculate your result fee and send an invoice for your total fees (your strategy fee and your result fee).

Please see the “Cost” section of this document for an in-depth explanation of the fee structure for Salary Negotiation Coaching.

Can I pay with a credit card?

There is an additional 3% convenience fee to pay the fees with a credit card because result fees can sometimes be very large, and the associated credit card processing fees get very large. There is no convenience fee for ACH (bank transfer) or paper check.

What other payment options are there?

You can submit the result fee via ACH (bank transfer) or paper check and there is no convenience fee for either of those options.

And, as mentioned above, there is a 3% convenience fee added if you prefer to pay with a credit card.

Fee payment options—an example**

Here’s a concrete example. Let’s say the strategy fee for your engagement is $5,000. And let’s say our work results in an additional first-year compensation of $100,000. The result fee would then be $10,000 (10% of the $100,000 improvement in first-year compensation).

So the total fees for your Salary Negotiation Coaching engagement would be $15,000 ($5,000 for the strategy fee and $10,000 for the result fee).

And here are the convenience fees for the three payment options on a $15,000 result fee:

Credit card—$450

ACH (bank transfer)—$0

Paper check—$0

When is payment due?

No payment is due until after our work together is complete. Once we have completed our engagement, I will calculate our result fee and send you a final invoice for the total fees (strategy fee plus result fee).

You and I will work together to find the best way to approach the fee payment given your particular situation.

Result fees can sometimes be very large when we negotiate an outstanding result. Each client has different preferences in terms of when and how to pay their fees.

Most clients prefer to pay the fees as soon as our engagement concludes. Some clients prefer to wait until they receive their first paycheck, or until they receive their signing bonus.

Some clients prefer to break the fees into multiple payments over a few months.

When we finish our engagement and calculate the total fees, then you and I will talk about what method and timing are best for you.


Can you guarantee results?

Results cannot be guaranteed. Although I have extensive experience negotiating with all of the big tech companies and many others, there is no way to know what is possible without negotiating.

Sometimes, a company will have substantial flexibility and will drastically improve their offer for the right candidate. Sometimes a company will have no flexibility and won’t budge regardless of how strong the candidate is.

This variability is why there is a result fee: If the company does not budge on their offer when we negotiate, I don’t collect any result fee. If the company does improve their offer, you keep 90% of the first year’s improvement (and 100% of the improvements after that), and I keep 10%.

How often do your clients improve their job offers?

About 90% of the time my clients’ offers are improved.

That means that about 10% of the time the company’s initial offer was their best and final offer, which we confirmed by employing the best possible strategy to negotiate that offer.

What’s the Return on Investment on Salary Negotiation Coaching?

That depends on many factors, and I think of Return on Investment in two ways:

Quantitative—Job offers sometimes don’t change at all or improve by only a few thousand dollars more than what was offered, and sometimes the value of negotiating can be more than a million dollars. For most offers, a one-percent improvement means a positive Return on Investment for Salary Negotiation Coaching, and the average total compensation improvement is more than 15%.

Qualitative—Aside from negotiating the best possible version of your compensation package, I will teach you how to negotiate your job offers so that you have this skill in your arsenal for the rest of your career. And you can use this skill to help friends and family negotiate their offers as well.


Do you have a referral program?

Yes! I prefer to work with referred clients whenever possible.

How does your referral program work?

My referral program is pretty simple and straightforward: If you recommend someone to me and they decide to work with me, I’ll give you $1,000.

But here’s the catch: I need the person you referred to let me know that you’re the one who sent them my way.

To make sure you get your bonus, the best thing to do is ask the person you’re referring to drop your name when they’re filling out the application form. There’s a question on there that asks, “How did you hear about me?” - that’s the perfect place for them to mention your name. That way, I’ll know for sure that you referred them, and I can send that bonus your way!”

If your questions aren’t answered here, contact me any time and I’m happy to answer other questions you might have. Or we can always discuss any questions or concerns you have on our next phone call!

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I'm Josh Doody, a professional salary negotiation coach who helps High Earners negotiate their job offers. On average, High Earners improve their first-year compensation by $47,273 with my help.

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