The War Room

OTE/stock negotiation strategies that helped me multiple times

Hi fellow savages,

Someone asked this question earlier and I thought it would be helpful to repost my reply as a separate thread for more visibility.

How to negotiate your offer:

1) Never share your number first: some recruiters call you and enthusiastically say "we're excited to extend you an offer" then follow up with "but we would like to understand your salary expectations" before sharing offer details. The ONLY purpose of that question is to make sure they don't pay you more than what you'd settle for. I refused to share my expectations with a company just 2 weeks ago and they asked what I made in W2 last year. Obviously, that's an illegal question to ask (and they know better), so I said I wasn't comfortable sharing that data with them and asked to share their offer details again. They said they'd put something together by tomorrow (why didn't you have anything when you called me tho?). Next evening, after a whole day of silence, they replied to my follow up text and said "the team has decided to pass". AFTER they had already told me I had the job. I had another offer in hand, and this company wasn't my top choice anyway, so it wasn't a big deal outside of the time I spent interviewing with them. In fact, I was actually happy this happened because companies that play these games and then pull offers when they see they can't lowball you aren't a place where I want to be working anyway. I just signed a great offer earlier this week and know it was a great one. They didn't play games, and in fact, they raised the original OTE by $20K when I asked for more time to think and finish my other interview loops. Even the original OTE offer was great, but that extra $20K definitely brings the package to like top 10-20% for the role. Reps with 20+ years of experience are lucky to get that $$$, I got it with much less experience.

2) If you MUST share your number first (you love this company, you don't want to lose this offer for whatever reason), then share a range with your lower end being slightly higher than what you'd actually want to make. Aka you want to get $300K OTE, say you're talking to companies that offer $310-$320 OTE. I usually also say the final number will depend on the number of RSUs/stock options and other things like draw, ramp, quota, so they have room to bring the OTE up and justify it. They'll likely try to give you $280-290K to counter anchor, but you can probably push it up to $300-310K.ย 

3) Research salaries and talk to other reps currently there or who recently left. Ask why they left. I built enough rapport with a few reps at the company where I ended up accepting the offer and they weren't shy to share their comp details with me when asked. That's how I knew my offer was actually pretty darn good.

4) If already in negotiations, tell them you have a few more interviews that you are wrapping up at 2-3 other places, but this company is your top choice and all you're waiting to see is how the comp packages compare since you're in sales to make money. If they're truly your top choice, tell them "if you're able to offer $X more, I'd be happy to sign the offer today and cancel all other interviews". Most places that TRULY want you will agree since waiting for you to finish other rounds brings more risk for them because you might potentially be getting even higher comp packages elsewhere that may be well above that $X extra that you'd asked for.

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