How to Get the Salary You Want With an Offer They Can’t Refuse

The Salary Negotiation Challenge Jpeg

The Salary Negotiation Challenge

The frustrating thing about new employers is they don’t know what you are capable of. They may offer you a salary that you think under-values you, but as far as they’re concerned they’ve made a fair offer and they see no reason to offer you more.  When you can move the job negotiation away from a discussion about money then you can avoid this stand-off confrontation. This is a highly effective salary negotiation technique. 

The Role of Value

When your job interview reaches the point of a salary discussion take money off the table by focusing the discussion on the value you will bring to the organization. There are two components to value in negotiating: Maximizing value and perceived value.

Increasing the pie in salary negotiations Jpeg

Increasing the Pie – Value Maximization

Some people think negotiating is about extracting the maximum amount of value from the other party.  But this is just divisive negotiation and results in confrontation and bad feelings after the negotiation. Not the way you want to start a new job! It’s better to increase your share by increasing the size of the pie. In a salary negotiation this is done by understanding what is important to each party. For example flexible working conditions could be extremely valuable to an employee but cost nothing to the employer.

The Role of Value Perception in Salary Negotiation

If the employer doesn’t know what you are capable of then it’s your job to tell them. The key to the Money off the Table Technique is clearly communicating your value to the employer. When you create the perception that you are indispensable to themas an employee you set the stage for an offer they can’t refuse. 

The Salary negotiation Action Plan Jpeg

Putting the Plan into Action

1.     When you get to the point of a salary discussion in a job interview there’s already a lot that you should know about the organization:

·       The business challenges they are facing,

·       What’s important to them and,

·       How you are going to help them.

2.     Use your insight to prepare a short “proposal” for the employer - your “value menu”:

·       It only has to be about a page long,

·       List each of the problems you have identified that they are facing,

·       Give step-by-step actions of what you will be doing to resolve each of them,

·       Where possible, give them a choice of solutions and time frames.

3.     Type it up neatly and put it into a folder ready to take to your next meeting with the employer.

4.     In your meeting, the employer will either ask you what salary requirements are, or they’ll tell you what their salary offer is.

5.     Either way, now is your opportunity to pitch yourself as the person who will solve their problems for them.

6.     But first, it’s time to take money off the table.

7.     Divert the discussion away from your price. Say, “Before we discuss the offer I’d like to show you something that I put together for you.”

8.     Pull out your proposal and show the employer the compelling reasons why you are worth the salary you want.

9.     This is not about your price – it’s about the problems in their business and how you will solve them.


In a salary negotiation, arm yourself with the facts to know where you stand. As in any negotiation you will do better when you can increase the size of the pie for both parties. And how you go about communicating your value is as important as the value you bring.

The Money Off the Table Salary Negotiation Technique is part of the Manager Foundation Guide to Negotiating Your Salary See the guide for the complete solution.

One of the best ways to prepare is by practicing.  Use a Professional Interview Coach who can prep you by role-playing an entire interview including the salary negotiation phase. This process gives you the confidence to talk money with a potential employer without being afraid you are getting it “wrong”.


Do you have any questions, comments or tips on salary negotiations? Help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.


This is part of the Interview Success Series. This series covers how job seekers can get the job they want. This series contains inside information from experienced recruiters.


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