Negotiating job offers
An example script for negotiating starting salary
by Josh Doody
Once you’ve responded to your job offer with a counter offer, the company will probably respond with something between your job offer and your counteroffer. That’s your negotiation window. Your goal is to maximize your salary within that window.
Here’s a salary negotiation counteroffer calculator you can use to determine your counter offer: Salary negotiation script and counter offer calculator
In this example the company has made an offer of $50,000, and you have countered at $56,000. Your negotiation window is now $50,000–$56,000. This sample salary negotiation script is your plan for hashing out the final details of your compensation package in the Final Discussion by first maximizing your base salary and then negotiating for additional benefits.
(Your Minimum Acceptable Salary is the underlined row.)
The company will discuss your counter internally and determine how much they can pay you. Then you will often have a quick phone call with the recruiter or hiring manager to determine your final salary and other benefits.
When the company responds to your counter, use this script to maximize your starting salary and benefits. For each step, if they accept your proposal, then you’re finished. If they don’t accept your proposal, go to the next step.
If they do not accept your first response, take the current salary as your base and request your highest-priority benefit. In this example, if the company comes back with $53,000, then you say “If you can do $54,000, I’m on board!”
If they stick with $53,000, then you would say, “I understand the best you can do is $53,000 and you can’t come up to $54,000. If you can do $53,000 and offer an extra week of paid vacation each year, then I’m on board.”
Regardless of whether they accept your response, then you’re finished. You have maximized your base salary and maximized your benefits as well.
Learn more What else do you need to know to negotiate salary?
How to negotiate salary: 9 tips from a pro salary negotiator
I’ve changed the names and numbers, but this salary negotiation script example is based on a real script I used to negotiate starting salary.
Here are the steps I took after receiving a verbal job offer from the hiring manager:
I'm Josh Doody, a professional salary negotiation coach who helps Senior Software Engineers and Engineering Managers negotiate job offers from big tech companies. On average, Software Engineers and Engineering Managers improve their first-year compensation by $47,273 with my help.
Apply for a free 15-minute intro call to learn how I can help.