How to Handle a Counteroffer of Salary Like a Pro


A job offer is good news, even if the starting wage is not what you were expecting. It can be difficult to know what to do next when that occurs. Is it wise to do a Salary negotiation or Salary Counteroffer? or just accept what you’re handed? You can control your tension when you negotiate a pay raise or benefits package.  Take one stride forward, two steps to the side, rotate, and then come together like you would in an intricate dance that you have learnt over time.

Even while getting a job offer is a thrilling step forward in your professional life, you might not always get what you were hoping for. In this case, you can think about negotiating a new starting pay or employment terms by first making a counteroffer. With an effective counteroffer process, you can come to an agreement that satisfies your needs, along with those of your potential employers.

In this Jobsbuster blog post, we are going to define a counteroffer, provide steps for how to make a salary counteroffer and targeted tips to counteroffer.


What is Counteroffer?

A candidate may respond to an employer’s salary offer with a counteroffer. This usually occurs when the candidates believes that the salary is not competitive with the market.

If an employee is given a promotion and they don’t think the new salary they are offered for taking that position, they may also make a counteroffer to their present employer. When a business finds out that a valuable employee has gotten an offer from another company, they may also make a counteroffer. In this scenario, the employer would provide greater compensation or other benefits to entice a worker to remain with the business.

When considering a counteroffer, during you job search process there are several things you can do to increase your odds of getting more pay, and a few things that could stand in your way.


How to make a Salary Counteroffer?

You can use the following steps as guidance when countering a job offer to do salary negotiation:

  • Likeability is important. Do not undervalue it

It may seem simple, but this is important to remember: People will only fight for you if they like you. Anything you do in a negotiation that makes you less likable reduces the chances that the other side will work to get you a better offer. This is about managing some of the natural tensions that arise during salary negotiations, including asking for what you deserve without coming across as ungrateful, bringing up flaws in the offer without coming across as petty, and being persistent without becoming bothersome. It’s about more than just being kind.


  • Help them in realizing your justification for your requests

They must think you’re deserving of the job offer you’re seeking. Always tell the story that corresponds with your proposal instead of letting it speak for itself. Don’t just assert your position; provide a detailed justification. It might not be a good idea to make a demand if you have no basis for it. Remember the natural conflict that exists between being likeable and articulating your reasons for deserving better: You risk coming out as conceited if you make suggestions about how valuable you are without considering the best way to convey the idea.


  • Make it clear they can get you

If the HR think you’re ultimately going to answer “No, thanks,” then they won’t want to invest political or social capital to gain permission for a stronger or better salary offer. Who would want to follow another business around like a stalker? Make it plain that you are serious about working for this firm if you plan to work for a higher package. It’s possible to make someone want you by telling them how much everyone wants you. Saying why, or under what circumstances, you would be willing to forego those possibilities and accept an offer, should counterbalance the disclosure of all the options you have as leverage.


  • Understand the person across the table

Companies don’t do salary negotiation; people do. And before you can influence the person sitting opposite you, you have to understand her. What are her interests and individual concerns? For example, negotiating with a prospective boss is very different from negotiating with an HR representative. You can perhaps afford to pepper the latter with questions regarding details of the offer, but you don’t want to annoy someone who may become your manager with seemingly petty demands.


  • Understand their constraints

They may like you. They may think you deserve everything you want. But they still may not give it to you. Why? Because they may have certain ironclad constraints, such as salary caps, that no amount of negotiation can loosen. Your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not. The better you understand the constraints, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to propose options that solve both sides’ problems.


  • Be prepared for tough questions

Many job candidates have been hit with difficult questions they were hoping not to face. My advice is to never lie in a salary negotiation. It frequently comes back to harm you, but even if it doesn’t, it’s unethical. The other risk is that, faced with a tough question, you may try too hard to please and end up losing leverage. If you have thought in advance about how to answer difficult questions, you probably won’t forfeit one of those objectives.


  • Focus on the questioner’s intent, not on the question

If, despite your preparation, someone comes at you from an angle you didn’t expect, remember this simple rule: It’s not the question that matters but the questioner’s intent. Often the question is challenging but the questioner’s intent is benign. An employer who asks whether you would immediately accept an offer tomorrow may simply be interested in knowing if you are genuinely excited about the job, not trying to box you into a corner. If you engage in a genuine conversation about what he’s after and show a willingness to help him resolve whatever issue he has, both of you will be better off.


  • Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially

If someone makes you a job offer and you’re legitimately concerned about parts of it, you’re usually better off proposing all your changes at once. Don’t say, “The salary is a bit low. Could you do something about it?” and then, once she’s worked on it, come back with “Thanks”. Otherwise, she may pick the two things you value least, because they’re easy to give you, and feel she’s met you halfway. Then you’ll have an offer that’s not much better and a negotiating partner who thinks her job is done.


  • Don’t negotiate just to negotiate

Resist the temptation to prove that you are a great negotiator. MBA students who have just taken a class on negotiation are plagued by this problem: They go bargaining berserk the first chance they get, which is with a prospective employer. My advice: If something is important to you, absolutely negotiate. But don’t haggle over every little thing.


  • Maintain a sense of perspective

This is the final and most important point. You can negotiate like a pro and still lose out if the negotiation you’re in is the wrong one. Ultimately, your satisfaction hinges less on getting the salary negotiation right and more on getting the job offer right. These guidelines should help you do salary negotiation effectively and get the offer you deserve, but they should come into play only after a thoughtful, holistic job hunt designed to ensure that the path you’re choosing will lead you where you want to go.


Tips to Counteroffer

Now that you have an offer in hand, it may be time to negotiate. Let us look into the tips to counteroffer like a pro. You can use the following list of advice to help make the process run more smoothly when providing a counteroffer:

  • Be honest

You can use specific information, such as average industry salaries, your level of experience or prior compensation, as leverage when negotiating. Always use evidence to support such claims. Your potential employer may not learn immediately if you lied about having another job offer, but they could find out eventually. Demonstrate honesty to build and maintain a trusting employment relationship.


  • Know the employer’s constraints

An effective salary negotiation process satisfies both parties, so consider the employer’s point of view along with yours. For example, think about how large the company is or how many people they’re hiring currently. These factors can affect the company’s ability to do salary negotiation or other compensation. Using these insights can help you develop a realistic counteroffer, which can make the negotiation process smoother.


  • Show your enthusiasm

As a potential employee, you want to express your continued interest in the opportunity and company. Rather than giving ultimatums, focus on collaborating with the employer to find options that benefit everyone. This behaviour helps prove that you can work well with others in the company. It can also demonstrate your genuine interest in joining the team, rather than focusing solely on how much you want to earn.


  • Get written documentation

When you verbally agree upon new terms for your job offer, ask the employer to send you a revised written version, if they don’t offer to do so automatically. This document provides clarity on the role’s expectations and serves as evidence of the negotiated changes. It’s essential to have this proof if you encounter issues later or notice they did not implement some changes.


  • Practice your pitch with someone else

Ask a trusted friend or colleague to rehearse the negotiation process with you. If this person has industry experience, they can ask you relevant questions you may encounter and assess whether you have made a compelling case. Having this practice can help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself and explaining why you deserve more compensation. The more comfortable you feel, the more confidence you can show when speaking to the employer.


Read Also : How to Negotiate and Accept a Job Offer Letter Like a Pro



In this JobsBuster blog post, we analyse the salary negotiation process from start to finish, providing key tips at each stage. You’ll learn strategies for developing your target range, communicating pay expectations and demonstrating your value to a possible employee.

We hope you found this JobsBuster blogpost helpful and have a better understanding of how to counter argue like a pro. Here we have discussed various steps and tips to counteroffer.

If you have any questions or queries feel free to post below. Our team will get back to you soon.

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