5 Tried and True Tips to Help HR Managers or Business Owners Succeed in Negotiations with a Sales Superstar

By: Courtney Keene

15 Website ServicesDale Carnegie, famous author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, once said:

By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”

HR Managers and business owners who have their sights set on securing a talented sales rep or sales manager for their company will be smart to heed Carnegie’s caution, when it comes to negotiations. Here are five tips to help HR Managers or business owners successfully negotiate an offer presented to a sales representative of sales manager

1. Identify any aspects of the offer that you’re willing to adjust, and those that are deal-breakers.  Perhaps you’re willing to guarantee the first year’s bonus because the candidate will be stepping into an underperforming territory/turnaround situation, or you’re willing to offer extra vacation days, or additional personal/sick days. In other words, decide whether your offer will be the final say, or if you are willing to negotiate, should your potential candidate counter-offer.

2. Develop or pinpoint any specific incentives you’re willing to offer. For example, if your new employee needs to relocate, decide if you’re willing to help with relocation by paying for the move, or helping with the deposit on a new apartment.  This is also the time when you’ll decide how you will handle any non-competes your potential sales representative has signed.  Will you support them if a non-compete clause becomes a legal issue?  These are decisions you should make before drafting the offer, so that they can be addressed and/or included.

3. Put everything in writing, including a deadline for accepting or declining the offer. Even in cases where you have “pre-closed” with a verbal offer, you’ll need to reiterate in writing all that has been discussed, and highlight any variations that have arisen after your verbal offer.

4. Call after extending the offer in writing.  This way you’ll be able walk the sales rep or sales manager through the commission and bonus structure, and be able to answer any questions they may have.

5. Be prepared for a counter-offer.  In today’s sales climate there is a pervasive belief that a job candidate must always negotiate an offer, or risk looking unsophisticated. Fear that they may come across as a pushover if they don’t counter-offer drives many sales professionals to insist on making changes to even the most attractive offers.  So, if you’re recruiting an especially talented sales rep, or highly experienced sales manager, expect a counter-offer.

Negotiating a sales position offer should never be done haphazardly. All details should be thoroughly evaluated before agreeing to a candidate’s requests, or conversely rejecting a counter-offer. The process is made easier by working with an established and trusted sales recruiting company. By working with an experienced and reputable sales recruiting company you may find that the benefits of yielding just a little bit, result in a win-win situation for both parties.

Courtney Keene is a sales and management talent recruiter at Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting. She has a proven record of helping companies in a wide variety of industries to secure the top talent they need to see their businesses thrive. Visit www.grapevinerecruiting.com, call 952.856.2371 or email info@grapevinerecruiting.com.