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Making Smarter Counteroffers

Webster's Dictionary defines counter as a verb meaning, "to meet attacks or arguments with defensive or retaliatory steps - to offset or nullify." The word "defensive" in the above definition, seems to best describe the whole concept of counteroffers. In every negotiation during the selection process, the employer puts an offer on the table to which you have three choices – accept the offer, decline the offer and walk off or to put forth a counteroffer. Let’s say, a friend tells you to ask for a 30% raise above your present salary. Though these cases might work sometimes, but you might tend to quote unrealistic figures or figures that don’t precisely match with the job profile.

Making counteroffers is an art which has to be learned. Let’s see few practical ideas which can help you develop smart & realistic counteroffers for achieving your goals.

1. Be Prepared

Before the beginning of the negotiation process, ensure to research the average compensation package prevailing for the said position and in the industry. Secondly, decide on your range of salary, benefits and other additional compensation that you would want to work for. Once this is done, your asking of such a compensation package should be justifying enough in your field, taking into account your credentials, qualifications and practical work experience. The asking of this package itself is a counteroffer, so never overlook on this preparation.

2. Be Firm

Most candidates make the mistake of asking for an unrealistic raise which is not justifiable and leads them to retreat from the actual counteroffer made. Avoid this pitfall by putting forth a counteroffer that is based on your research and is practical enough for the employer to understand. The employer may however try to convince you with persuasive & non-persuasive arguments.

Persuasive Argument: The employer might say “We understand that our competitors are offering higher salaries, but we aren’t as big a company as theirs and our package shall give you the liberty to have a work life balance”

Unpersuasive Argument: The employer might argue “Your expectations are too high and we can’t afford it”

3. Be Wise

Your goal in the negotiation process is to reach an agreement which satisfies both the sides. Don’t argue until death and stick to your offer. If your counteroffer is not moving towards agreement, think of a second proposal which can meet your needs in some other way. The idea is to reach successful agreement rather than winning over an argument.

Negotiation is about exchanging practical conversations, possible solutions and reaching a satisfied agreement for both the sides. When you put forth a counteroffer, remember to do so; based on your research, preparation and experience. With these three attributes, you shall find yourself all the more comfortable to strike a deal and getting the compensation package that you deserve.

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