This issue causes many sales candidates stress. As sales people, we should be used to negotiating with customers, our managers and our support departments. If that is the case, why are so many sales people uncomfortable negotiating a sales job offer? What I have seen is that women tend to negotiate their deals less and only the minority of men negotiate their offer. Some clients actually expect sales people to negotiate their offer and work some wiggle room into it.
It’s true that going through a sales head hunter, you know almost all of the terms and conditions going into the process. The key about negotiating the offer is that it must be a win-win where both sides get something. The first thing that you as a candidate should do is be honest with your sales recruiter. I want to know what motivates you, why are you making this move and what are the “nice to have” and what are the “must haves”. You must also take into consideration the long term effects on your career that this move will bring. Is this offer/job bringing me closer to my personal and professional goals? If you cannot answer yes, reconsider earlier in the process. Be honest with the recruiter if you are involved in other processes that are as interesting or more interesting that the impending offer.
Ensure that your prospective employer knows that you are very keen on the position. The way you present your counter offer might influence how you are perceived. You don’t want to start your new sales job with a bitter taste in your mouth or have your new boss have that bitter taste.
Don’t accept or reject the offer right away. Tell them that you need to think about or talk about it with your significant other but keep it positive.
It’s probably not a good idea to take a job for money only. That feeling of euphoria won’t last. And if you are thinking of turning down a job because of money, think about it twice. Break it down into bite size pieces; $5000 annually is actually $192 per pay before Canadian taxes have taken their share. Can you get more by negotiating more vacation time?
If you have to turn down the offer, do it with class. Remember “6 degrees of separation”. You don’t want this to come back and bite you in the behind.
Do your homework before, know what you are worth, know the non-monetary things that are important to you and most of all, match the culture of the company that you are going to with what you are looking for.