Word-by-Word Script for Leveraging an Offer to Get and Improve Another Offer
Let's say you're an information systems manager interviewing for a new job. You are a strong performer who consistently delivers on projects and assignments.
According to your research, the median base salary for this role is $105,000. Your current pay is $80,000, but you haven't revealed this because you know that past salary questions are becoming a thing of the past. Your past salary has no bearing on your future potential.
So with the new job, you're looking to close the salary gap and to stretch your capacity for higher-level work.
You've interviewed with several leading companies in your field, including Apricot Corp. and Bananas Inc.
Apricot Corp. just extended a verbal offer for $100K. But you're most excited to work with Banana, Inc. with whom you're still in the interview process.
So what do you do to expedite the process and improve the odds of you getting a compelling offer from Banana?
Here's a sample email script with my strategy notes:
Dear Bananas Hiring Manager,
I appreciate you taking the time last week to talk with me, and I'm excited by this opportunity to contribute to your team.
I understand Banana Inc. is looking to grow its functions in a more efficient manner. I'm confident that with my experience in X, Y, and Z and my dedication to excellence, I'll be able to hit the ground running when I join the team.
- To borrow the words of my client who recently negotiated a $15K salary increase, "be awesome to everyone." Continue concurrent conversations with contenders in a positive, collaborative way.
- Note the subjunctive mood of "when I join the team." It expresses enthusiasm and confidence.
In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to let you know that I received a competitive offer from one of the companies I'm interviewing with.
- There's no need to go into specifics or reveal names. The fact that you have an offer is a clear signal to them that you're a desirable and hire-able candidate worth pursuing.
I'm also talking with a few other companies, so I can't get into the specifics of the offer until I'm closer to making a decision.
- You're letting them know you have multiple options (more options = more power = more leverage).
- You're also respectfully giving a reason why you can't go into specifics while communicating your boundaries.
I've been asked to make a decision by end of the month. But I'd really like to work with Banana team and on the exciting and unique opportunities that we discussed last week. So I'm curious to know if there's a way we can make this work.
- Create urgency with the imposed deadline.
- The language is empathetic with a focus on mutually beneficial solutions -- no ultimatums, which would put the relationship at risk. (Check out Haseeb Qureshi's article: How Not to Bomb Your Offer Negotiation)
Would you let me know if it would be possible to expedite the interview process?
- Get buy-in on the expedited interview process. This would give you a clear signal of whether they're serious about hiring you.
- If no, then part ways cordially. They'd do you a favor by saving you the time and energy of pursuing a dead end.
- If yes, then they may either ask about the details of the competing offer. Better yet, they may extend a verbal offer to not lose you as a candidate.
- At which point, you can do them a favor by letting them know what would make a compelling offer for you: Salary that's commensurate with the going market rate, competitive benefits, or specific perks that align with your personal goals.
- In the mean time, you can also ask Apricot Corp. to improve its offer to meet or exceed the going market rate of $105,000.
Every negotiation conversation is an opportunity for you to lead, by demonstrating your capacity to communicate and to create solutions that are in the best interest of everyone.
My guess is that you might be held back by the voices of the Itty Bitty Should-y Committee who clamor when you brave change. They say, "You can't do that," or "Who says you can ask for that much more?"
It takes courage to negotiate anyways.
Let's be brave,
P.S. Can I help you? I specialize in helping my clients shift their mindset so that they can lead, negotiate, and thrive. I also work with my clients on co-creating custom scripts so they can ask for what they want and become bolder, braver, and better paid. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.