Salary Negotiation: “They’re telling me the offer has no flexibility,” with Ramit Sethi


– This question is from
David S., about negotiation. “Hey, Ramit, so I have a job offer “and, after the first
round of negotiations, “they’re telling me the
salary has no flexibility. “How do I show them that it does?” I love this question
because, as an Indian, I feel personally offended that they said there’s no flexibility. There’s not always flexibility,
but usually there is, and it’s a classic scare
tactic that I, myself, if I were not Ramit Sethi of
I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I, myself, might consider using, because I know people,
especially American people, are so naive and terrified of negotiating. That’s why Saturn was able to sell cars to unsuspecting people, who were like, “I don’t want to negotiate. “I’d rather just pay a higher price “so I feel comfortable with myself.” That’s what Saturn’s positioning was. Genius, for the American
delusional market. How did I get off on that tangent? I have no idea. The question was, “They’re telling me I have no
flexibility. What do I do?” Okay, a few things. First of all, the bad news. The bad news is that, if
they’re telling you that, you probably did something
wrong way back here. By the time top performers
get to discuss negotiation and salary and compensation,
it’s well understood that there is going to be a negotiation. That’s because they
have said phrases like, “Well, you know, at my last job
I was very well compensated, “and I’m certainly
looking for compensation “that is a good fit for me, “but I’m also looking for a
better fit in terms of my values “and what I want to do with my career.” They’re saying phrases
like that back here, in the first meeting, even at coffee. By the time they get to the negotiation, those subtle comments
have made an impression on the interviewer, who knows. He’s like, “All right, I’d
better put my battle hat on. “I’m ready to play.” Instead, what most average candidates do is they go and they try
to answer questions, like “Yes, this is why I’m very interesting “and my biggest weakness is
that I try too hard and, please, “will you please accept
me for this job, please?” By the time they get to the end, when they’re discussing compensation, if they’ve gotten the job offer, which is good, congratulations, the interviewer knows, he’s like, “I got this guy! “I know he has no other offers. “I know he has really no other options. “I know he probably didn’t
make that much at his last job. “Maybe he even told me how much he made, “so I got him in a bind. “Let me just take him down.” Nooo flexibility. Now, here’s what you do, if you haven’t gotten to this point, for the people who haven’t
gotten to this point yet, the best thing you can do
is have multiple offers, so make sure that you
are doing your job search with multiple companies, and I can show you how to do that later, and including how to time it perfectly, so that you get a bidding war. Oh, that’s my favorite thing in the world. You want to bid on how
much you want to pay me? Go for it. I’ll sit and watch with
popcorn in my mouth. The second thing is make
sure that you mention, throughout your engagement
with this company, that you want to be evaluated on value. You want to be compensated on value, not just on what the
general terminology is. You need to separate and
differentiate yourself, and you can do that by things
like the briefcase technique, some of the other techniques I’ll share. However, finally, if
you get to this point, either you messed it up or you tried your best and it didn’t work, you need to make the case for why you should be
given a higher salary, and here’s how you, in general, do it. Number one, you can get the
other comparable salaries from payscale.com,
salary.com and glassdoor.com. Let’s say there’s a pay range. Let’s just say it’s between
$50,000 to $62,000 a year. You want to show why you deserve to be at the top end
of that range: $62,000. Now, they may negotiate you down. In fact, I would, but let’s
say you get to $55,000. That’s a nice 10% raise: $5,000 for about an hour
or two of your time. If you can search
“negotiation” on my blog, you’ll see an example of a friend of mine, who, I think, made something
like $3,000 an hour, using my I Will Teach You techniques. Her name is Rachel. She’s also in my book. Show them why you are worth the money and why you deserve to be at
the top range of that spectrum. Now, you can do this again
by talking about what it is that you’re planning to
do with the company, etc. Now, let me share one last blunt truth. If you have basically just
been an average interviewee, an average candidate, you’ve never done any
briefcase technique stuff, you’ve never explored deep empathy to understand what it
is this company wants, and shared why you’d be different, you may have just put yourself in a bind where they’re not going
to negotiate with you. If that’s the case, this
is one way of saving face. You know Asian people love to save face, and I am Asian when
it’s convenient for me. However, when it’s not, then I’m Indian. Asian people love to save face and one thing you can say,
in the face-saving technique, is to go, “I understand
that times are tough “and that you don’t have any flexibility ” on the salary right now. “Okay, with that said, “I’m really interested in working with you “so, if we can make one agreement, “then I think we can find a good fit here “and that agreement would
be something like this. “If I do an extraordinary
job in the next six months, “will you agree that we can revisit this “and renegotiate my salary at that time? “Again, not if I do an average job, “but if I do an extraordinary job, “and would you be willing to
put that in the contract?” Of course! If I’ve already spent $5,000, $6,000, $10,000 recruiting you, and you ask me to someday in the future talk about maybe giving
you a salary increase? Done. But what you do then is,
when you start the job, your first 30 days, boom! Just knock it out of the park, and say, “What would make me do
an extraordinary job?” Get them to write it down. Be ultra-specific. Not just things like improve morale, improve customer service. No. What numbers do I need to hit? And then hit those numbers,
and blow past them, and when you do, you’ll go
in there six months later, whereas the other people
who got negotiated against and got nothing, they’ll
just stay there forever. You will show yourself as a top performer and maybe you can
salvage that negotiation. Good question.

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100 thoughts on “Salary Negotiation: “They’re telling me the offer has no flexibility,” with Ramit Sethi

  1. Ramit, When receive the job offer, Should negotiate the salary with HR or contact directly to hiring manager?

  2. Nice advice. Your sideburns are uneven -sorry, I notice little things like that (attention to detail).

  3. thing is – can anyone tell me a single person that became "rich" by trading his own lifetime for money as an employee? one can only become rich if he or she exploits others…..

  4. just met you and you got me. they will not mind being locked at all it is locked to win for them. i hired a winner.

  5. Do you think salary for an intern is negotiable? I searched up the average salary of intern at their company on Glassdoor, and I blindly accepted the offer because the salary offer was around the average. Kind of regret of not negotiating.

  6. I run a cnc granite impact machine at work and run photoshop and restore and prep images and also graphic art and hand etch. No benefits and make 12k a year 🙁

  7. You saying not to tell what was your salary, so what you answer when they ask? Often is even in the forms of the application. You put your current salary as the minimum of a range you would consider?

  8. You have to back up your claim and quit if they say no. Asking for a raise isn't about begging, it's an ultimatum. Prepare yourself, be valuable, then ask for the fair price for your precious work.

  9. How can you combats,this working in California but relocating to Nevada within the same organization but they want to cut pay by 10% because of cost of living is less. Work type and role is the same. Lateral transfer

  10. There are so many jobs (in other countries or where it's not just this weird business/office world) where none of this applies.

  11. I would not even consider that advice around here. It is all "At Will" employment which means that no matter how good you do, in 6 months it will no be in the budget.

    I have only had two jobs that said they were not flexible on pay. I just negotiated other perks like 3 more weeks vacation, 100% paid medical insurance, etc. (In the US) Most of those they will be very flexible on.

  12. "As an Indian, I feel personally offended"

    Ya because that has anything to do with the topic. Throw race in there! Idiot.

  13. Hahaha love the finger waggle at "maybe he even told me how much he made". If you're skilled and don't HAVE to take a job, it doesn't matter whether they know how much you made. Because if they'll try and use that, you can still argue things like "I'm aware that I was underpaid compared to the average salaries". Or maybe don't argue at all, say their offer is not acceptable and move on to the next company or stick with the one you're currently with.

    This actually comes naturally with both confidence and nothing to lose. I remember a negotiation I had not too long ago where I did this sort of intuitively because while I wanted the job, there were circumstances surrounding it that made me unsure.
    So I simply declined a very good offer, made no counter offer.
    They increased their offer.
    I declined again, explaining my doubts a bit.
    Then they asked what they could do to make me accept.
    Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do. But for a different person with similar interests and skills as mine, it would've been a great outcome.

  14. Reality is that they pay you what your worth, your worth is set by yourself, if you negotiate a shit wage and except it then you can't complain, if your not happy with what they are offering then walk, simple!

    You have to do this without coming across arrogant ofcourse!

  15. I don’t negociate my income. I know what life cost and if the job isn’t going to fill the gap I don’t even apply👍😎

  16. Yeah but how many people actually get to the second negotiation?
    My experience has been is that if you go all out in your fist month you won't be able to show any improvement after 6 months and your manager will say you have plateaued, assuming he actually makes time to negotiate.
    The only way to get a salary renegotiation these days is to drop your resignation letter.

  17. Easy to nullify the save face technique. The management will hit you with unachievable numbers as they damn well know the job better than you. So in addition to burning yourself out for the same pay that will stay you gain nothing

  18. Damn I saw this thumbnail before my job interview. I regret not watching it, because I'm getting payed the minimum. There are people their who are getting payed $7 an hour more training with me. The most frustrating part is during the training these people who are getting X amount more are literally asking me for help during the training. A good thing on my end is that you have to maintain a 80% average grade or you get booted out of the program. So we initial started off with 15 people now we are down to 3 people. Technically 1 person(me) because the other 2 just barely made they mark so they were giving another chance.

  19. This video just made me a subscriber. Love the message and techniques, you're such a dynamic speaker. Why didn't I find this video sooner?!

  20. Well this guy is an ultra slime ball liar. That is not how you negotiate your salary. If you are in tech and try to pull this type of wordy crap you will be at the very end of the line. companies know these techniques and aren't just gonna magically hand out 5,000$ extra. They would rather hire someone else who is less manipulative. Remember interviews are a personality matching dynamic. If you come off this strong and tactical employers will look away. Also that whole bidding war thing is hysterical. If you are applying to a job where there is no competition that might happen but you would have to be ultra valuable most situations are not like this. Most companies have 5 to 6 candidates lined up, you try to pull this crap they will look away. you think job recruiters don't know these tricks?

  21. Don't forget, if you hassle the interviewer for salary negotiations for too long, they'll just take back the offer and you get NOTHING!! Lastly is hat sometimes interviewers will call your old boss or someone who has access to your old record at the last company and check if you got compensated.

  22. Haha, you consider yourself an Asian when its convenient, and indian when not? I believe Indians are Asians, as for the continent.

  23. Bosses in general like the goal setting idea better anyway and can relate to it. By making the comment and setting up your own carrot to chase after they see you as more driven and thats something thats not often presented.

  24. As an employer, I will never negotiate. Haha there are too many people in my country who are actually good but underpaid. I'd rather get those underpaid experienced people and pay them properly than hire someone who demands his/her salary.

  25. I died a little on the inside when he said to put, “do an extraordinary job” into a contract as a trigger for negotiations! Good luck enforcing that. 😂

  26. it is worth pointing out that at major companies there can be pay scales and there is no negotiating, just punching the clock.

  27. This is not how you negotiate salary at all. If they say no flexibility, you either like this offer or dont. You dont have to work for them. Be okay with walking away from offers. Simple as that. If thwy want you bad enough, theyll call you back with a new offer.

    But more than likely, theyve done their research, know that youre doing yours, and have a couple candidates in line.

    Should you try negotiating? Yes. EVERYTIME!!! But if they tell you no and you dont like their offer, then walk away. If you like the offer anyway, just tell them you always ask because the answer is always no if you dont. And accept the offer.

    It shows youre ambitious, you take initiative, and you have a personality that is collaborative and not combative. Those are good things.

  28. I honestly feel if the overall compensation is better than what I'm getting now then I dont need to negotiate. For reference I have zero 401k, health benefits, stocks, or anything outside my actual paycheck. Working in a gas station part time and the rest is at an Inn. $12/hr. Any offer a higher company could offer me is better than what I have now, later on though negotiation will be important.

  29. Don’t forget that as a new employee that is getting paid more than the rest of his/her senior counterparts, when they find out (and they will find out), you will be crucified. Sorry for the run on sentence.

  30. Another advice, sometimes you gotta know your place and ditch negotiation. Because not everybody/company takes that, particularly when there's no special exclusive talent that you can offer. So access the situation before you try to negotiate, know who's in the upper hand and lower hand. If a company is desperate for someone like you then usually there's space to negotiate, but if vice versa, negotiation will most likely get you out of the door of getting a job.

  31. Hi Ramit! I made extra 3k a year in less than 10 minutes of negotiation. Great advice and insights. No fluffy content…pure value!! Thanks so much. Wish you the best of success!

  32. In Brazil there is a law that obly a employer to pay a certain amont. The same amount is paid for the government for nothing at all.
    So the unemployment is skyrocketing for the last 10 years.

  33. I had the same issue with a job offer. The boss is from India and NO, I didn't do anything wrong. Indians are known to be blood suckers, cheap and want everything for themselves. Before the interview ended, he is the one who brought up the salary. That was not professional and I immediately was turned off. I turned down his offer and left! He called the next day and I sent him to voicemail!

  34. How do i negotiate proportion share of Audi company? How do i start to negotiate, can someone help with some key points? Plz

  35. The problem is that most people are like that, especially new graduates, they're just desperate to get a job just so they can start somewhere cuz the competition is tough. The people hiring are well aware of this too.

  36. This is bull crap with all respect. If they don’t agree to give you more money from the start,they will make you wait an entire lifetime. Just keep moving until you find a place where you’re valued and feel happy.

  37. I joined this company on may 3rd 2018 and my job offer state that my start up salary is 1200 per month for a period of six months which is probation period after which it will increase to 1500. But to my greatest surprise they keep paying me 1000 till date. I tried all my best to contact my director through our manager but nothing has been done. Now I have an offer letter with me from another company who is ready to pay 3500 and I want to cancel my work with my present employer not knowing how to do it. Advice me please

  38. I think this is a bad advice. It's very easy for employers to claim you're not performing in order to milk you. They can set high bars, which after starting, you'll find out nobody in the team hits.

  39. Thanks for the advice
    Tomorrow having an interview
    Final round
    There is salary negotiation also
    I hope they will pay good as I expected

  40. If you’re not happy with what they are going to paying you and won’t come up. Go on your way. Do not except a position that pays too low. They will try and tell you their company promotes from within which they might. However, I am currently in a situation where I am being held back by my manager because he is small minded and I have more education but I was told I would be promoted during the interview.

  41. I always hated the jargon , I gave up on an interview when I sensed it was going south and spoke my mind … got the job

  42. Saturn is out of business. Doesn't seem like your point really applies if the company can't stay afloat using refusing to negotiate with American consumers.

  43. I don't get why a company should pay you more, "because you are worth it". That is all well, but unless you have a higher offer, there is no danger you will leave the company and hence no reason for the company to spend more money on you.

  44. As soon as I even mentioned a raise, my manager started to give me the worst available workloads, every day.
    I still beat the production goals (higher than anyone else with the same workload) and now there's resentment towards me for not breaking from it.
    Sometimes you've just got to move on.

  45. Absolutely bullshit idea of saying that can you give me a higher salary in next 6 months, They won't.

  46. "I'm an Indian…." Please, don't make us Indians appear egotistical and stupid. Every human being is equal and treat everyone with respect ,don't have a condescending tone again. I'm an Indian ,born and raised in India.

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