What to Do If You’re Low-Balled During A Salary Negotiation
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I recently had an awesome live Q&A session where I talked about key strategies to ensure salary negotiation success! Here’s the great question I was asked most: what do I do if I know I’m being low-balled?

Here’s the reality: this does happen often. But, it’s not because companies are purposely trying to get you for less than you deserve. It’s more likely the result of candidates:

  • Not knowing their fair market value
  • Not having an understanding of their target company’s budget
  • Not negotiating effectively or not being able to prove that they’re worth more

If you’re low-balled – don’t worry! This isn’t the end of the world! But, it does mean that it may be time to set the stage for a salary negotiation to help you feel that you’re being compensated at the level that you deserve based on your skills, experience, and unique value.

I want to address a specific scenario: when you’re offered a new role, your Hiring Manager will likely call you over the phone and tell you the offer. If you’re caught off guard by it because you were low-balled, you could risk sounding disappointed and unenthusiastic on the phone. Remember: an offer is never final until you’ve signed the papers and your background check has been completed, so it’s never a good thing to sound like you’re not excited when you’ve just learned you’ve received a job offer.

Avoid turning off your employer by using my 2-step method to help you respond when you’re being low-balled!

1. Show appreciation!

First things first, it’s so important that you demonstrate excitement that you received the offer as well as eagerness to start your new role. This is an amazing achievement, so take a few moments to express your thanks to your Hiring Manager and that you’re looking forward to working with them. Since you’re the successful candidate, you can bet your Hiring Manager will be excited to work with you as well, which means that responding unenthusiastically because you’ve been low-balled will only disappoint them.

2. Express that you want to negotiate

Even though it’s a touchy topic, don’t shove it under the rug and ignore it until the absolute last minute. The best time to share that you’d like to negotiate is right off the bat, because this is a huge part of being transparent and honest with your future employers. Remember: only negotiate if you know that you are being low-balled and would receive below your fair market value if you joined this company. You can assess this by checking out websites like Glassdoor.com and Vault.com. I recommend doing this during the interview stage so that you’re not caught off guard when you’re given an offer.

To make sure you’re not caught off guard while on the phone, here are some things to say when you know you’re being low-balled:

  • Is that a firm offer?
  • Is this negotiable?
  • Is this base salary only?
  • I’m a little disappointed.
  • That seems like a good starting place.

The reason why I’ve chosen to share these with you is because they are all non-confrontational ways to ease your employer into the negotiation process. Moreover, they’re transparent and direct about your intentions.

Do you have more questions about salary negotiations? Check out my 1-hour Q&A by watching the video below!

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Diana YK Chan

Diana YK Chan

Diana is a former Recruiter turned Career Coach, Speaker and Trainer at My Marketability. She helps ambitious professionals and executives design the next chapter of their life, navigate transformational changes, and land incredible opportunities with a higher income. She’s an expert at distinguishing people’s unique brand value, mastering their messages and networking with confidence to gain a competitive edge. She’s recognized by JobScan as one of the Top 10 Job Search Experts to follow on LinkedIn.