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3 Steps to Making Smarter Counteroffers

Di tulis oleh Encik Anif 07 July 2006

Every negotiation will have a time when the other party puts an offer on the table. This is the point where the ball is in your court. Either you put forth a counteroffer if not you’d have to accept that offer or walk away from the table. The advice that you will usually receive is not particularly useful. For example, someone might tell you, "Always ask for 20 percent more than what you will settle for. You can always negotiate from there." Another colleague might say, "Always add 10 percent to what they offer. Employers are always trying to lowball you." These tactics may work a few times, but they have significant flaws. Not only do they lead you to throw out arbitrary figures, those figures may not be related to what you really want or need from the negotiation. Here are some practical advice that should help you develop counteroffers to help you achieve your goals.


1. Be Prepared

Before the negotiation begins, take the time to find out the standard compensation for this position. Establish a reasonable range for salary, a typical benefits package and common additional compensation (e.g., stock options, annual bonus, contractual bonus, performance bonus). This work makes it possible for you to know the ballpark in which any satisfactory agreement has to fall. Then, from those general points, determine the most favourable compensation package for you. You should be able to justify that package given in the industry which you work in (since compensation differs across industries) and your experience, expertise and credentials. Make sure that this package addresses the real needs you have -- you will likely have trouble asking for more later. This is the package that you can counteroffer.

2. Be Firm

Most negotiators make the mistake of putting out an arbitrary position as their counteroffer, then having to retreat from it because they cannot justify it or because they face a hostile reaction. Select a reasonable and appropriate counteroffer -- one based on the data you gathered in your findings -- and staying there until the other side offers a persuasive reason for you to move. By "persuasive," this means an argument based on additional data or information that justifies a different figure or package than you had in mind. For example, an employer might say, "I know that some of our competitors are offering higher salary figures. However, they are much larger than we are, and they expect you to work much longer hours for bigger clients. We offer a salary that allows you to have a reasonable work life and really have an impact on smaller companies." An example of an unpersuasive argument would be "Your figure is too high. We won’t be able to offer you that."

3. Be Wise

Keep the bigger picture in mind. Your goal is to reach an agreement that satisfies your interests -- not to win a battle between positions. If your counteroffer is not moving you closer to an agreement, do not hunker down and defend it to the death. Instead, think of another proposal that addresses your needs and concerns and is supported by data, and put that out as another offer. Use your energy to generate solutions, not to fight battles.In a nutshell, negotiation is all about exchanging ideas, possible solutions and information. Offers and counteroffers are the typical steps. When you counteroffer, do base it on rigorous preparation and thinking. If you do, you will find your negotiation much more effective, and more relaxed.

p/s : I've done it and i love it :)

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