Responding to a low-ball job offer like this will get you what you want every time

You’ve finally received the job offer you’ve been waiting for, only to find out it’s a low-ball offer and you want nothing to do with it.

While your gut tells you to say some not such nice things to the person on the other end of the phone, there are better ways to respond and maybe even get you closer to what you want.

The offer they give you isn’t the end-all-be-all, at least in most cases. Learn how to respond to get your way, and you may get your dream job and the offer you hoped after all. 

Stay calm

Keep your wits about you and take some deep breaths if that’s what it takes. Saying rude things or acting unprofessionally won’t get you anywhere except without a job.

If you want to fight for the job, you can say a few good things that may change the employer’s mind.

Thank the employer for the offer

Even though you feel slighted, thank them for the offer. This puts everyone at ease and makes you look gracious. When you spring your counteroffer on them, they are more likely to receive it with grace rather than anger. 

Along with thanking them for the offer, ask for some time to consider it. Don’t turn it down right away, and certainly don’t accept it. Give yourself a couple of days to mull things over and do your research.

Prepare your counteroffer

Before you start shooting out random demands, come up with reasons why you deserve the amount you’re proposing. Talk about your experience and the skills you bring to the table.

Also, discuss any monetary issues, such as the cost of living in the area, the commute’s cost, or the salary you’re coming from to take this new job.

Ask if you can counter

Don’t just assume you can counter the offer. Some companies take offense to it and won’t hear it. Others are willing if you prepare it carefully as we described above.

You likely get one shot at this, so prepare as much as you can and go slow. If they aren’t interested in a counteroffer, then you can move on, looking for another job, but if they’re willing to listen, be polite and take your time.

Be flexible

Remember, companies are under financial constraints, especially after the year we all had. If they can’t meet you on the money side of things, ask about other benefits or other ways they can be flexible.

Think about what’s important to you, such as time off, the ability to work from home occasionally, or profit-sharing. Ask about the benefits that would seal the deal for you and see if they can throw them in if they can’t meet your salary demands.

If the negotiations don’t go your way, don’t think you’ve lost and have to take the job. There will be other jobs. Don’t sacrifice yourself just because you’re desperate for a job.

You know your worth and what you can bring to a company, and if they can’t realize that, then another company somewhere else will.