You should negotiate starting salary rather than just accepting the first job offer you get. Why?

If you negotiate a $5,000 increase, you will make $5,000 more the first year at your new job. And you will make $5,000 the next year, and the next year, and the next year. Over 20 years, that $5,000 salary increase would be worth more than $100,000. Negotiating starting salary at a new company is one of the best opportunities to get this sort of increase or even more.

A salary negotiation script you can use to negotiate starting salary

The Fearless Salary Negotiation method is easy to use while generating phenomenal results. It's so easy, I summarized it on this single page. That's why Fearless Salary Negotiation is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.

How does it work?

  1. Calculate your counteroffer. The calculator accounts for four factors—your job offer, your minimum acceptable salary ("walk away" number), how badly the company needs you to do the job, and how badly you need the job.
  2. Deliver your counteroffer. Use the salary negotiation email sample as your guide.
  3. Prepare for your final discussion. Use the salary negotiation script example as your guide.

You're less than 1 minute away from having a complete salary negotiation script to successfully negotiate starting salary!

1. Calculate your counteroffer

Let's start with your counteroffer. The most common salary negotiation mistake is to not negotiate. All you need to negotiate is a counteroffer.

What's the base salary component of your offer? We'll focus on base salary first because that's the gift that keeps on giving year after year!


How badly do they need you? (0–10) What's your sense of how badly they specifically need you to fill this particular position?

How badly do you need them? (0–10) How desperate are you to get the job?

What's your minimum acceptable salary? What's the absolute minimum base salary you need to accept this job? Tell me more...


(Optional) What other benefits do you prefer once your base salary is maximized? Choose up to three other benefits in order of decreasing importance to you (most important is first).




2. Deliver your counteroffer

Now that you have your counteroffer calculated, you need to deliver it to the recruiter or hiring manager.

If possible, deliver your counteroffer in an email. Why? So that you can also make your case to justify your counteroffer and so your written case can be circulated internally at the company if they need to discuss it.

Here's a template you can use: Salary negotiation email sample

3. Prepare for your final discussion

Once you've countered, the company will probably respond with something between your job offer and your counteroffer. That's your salary negotiation window. Your goal is to maximize your salary within that window.

Let's say the company has made a job offer of $50,000, and your counteroffer is $56,000. Your negotiation window is now $50,000$56,000.

Break your salary negotiation window into increments. Each increment represents a possible response the company might make to your counteroffer.

For each increment, plan your response. First, you'll work to maximize your starting salary. Your minimum acceptable salary is $52,000, so you will not take the job for less than that amount.

Once you've maximized your starting salary, then pursue additional benefits that are important to you, starting with the most important benefit.

  1. Extra week of vacation
  2. Signing bonus
  3. Work from home

Here's a salary negotiation script example you can use to plan for your salary negotiation: Salary negotiation script example

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