Negotiation Know-How: 5 Tips for Successfully Navigating Through the Job Offer

15 Website ServicesMerriam-Webster defines negotiation as “a formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement.”

When it comes to negotiating a sales position offer, the key word in this definition is discussion. Successful negotiations between HR managers or business owners and potential sales reps or sales managers will exemplify this definition. To put it another way, all negotiations should take the form of a constructive discussion, not a battle, or a stand-off. Here are 5 tips for sales reps or managers to follow, in order to ensure your negotiation efforts result in constructive discussions to reach an agreement.

  1. Make sure to acknowledge and respond to the offer promptly. Regardless of whether you are accepting or declining the offer, it is important to acknowledge receipt of the offer within 24-48 hours. If you need to counteroffer, don’t procrastinate. It’s also incredibly important to be mindful and adhere to any deadlines for acceptance required by the employer.
  1. Thoroughly review the offer to decide if it is fair. If the offer includes everything you were hoping for, there is nothing wrong with deciding not to negotiate or counteroffer.   Contrary to what some may believe, deciding not to negotiate is not a sign of weakness. Instead it shows that you recognize a fair offer when you see one, and that asking for additional money or concessions just because you think you should negotiate could ultimately backfire.
  1. Consider the big picture, not just the salary. This is particularly important if you have a set income in mind, and the offer is lower than you’re comfortable with. Are the benefits acceptable, or perhaps even excellent? What about vacation time? Or bonuses for exceeding goals? In addition, don’t forget to consider the reputation of the company. What kind of culture does the company have? Is it competitive or collaborative? Do the other employees seem happy, and supportive of one another? Studies show that a vibrant company culture leads to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover.
  1. Convey the specific shortcomings of the offer to your full service sales recruiter. As your liaison, your professional sales recruiter can deliver this information to the HR manager or business owner on your behalf, serving as an experienced, neutral “middleman.”   They can also handle the negotiations for you if necessary, in order to prevent a potentially emotionally charged exchange between you and the HR manager or business owner. By delegating the negotiating to your recruiter, you will prevent any direct conflict with your potential new employer, should you ultimately accept the position.
  1. Refrain from resigning with your current position, until you have passed all background or drug screenings. Even if you’re convinced you’ll pass all checks with flying colors, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Postpone resigning from your current employer until you’ve been fully cleared for new employment as a sales representative or sales manager.

Negotiating a job offer should never be done impulsively. Specific decisions and options should be weighed carefully. The process is greatly simplified by working with established and trusted sales recruiting company, which can serve as a liaison between the parties, to help facilitate the “formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement.”

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, call 952.856.2371 or email