Icon Key
Bookmark and Share


Job Offer

03 Letter To Counter Job Offer

Print View |  Bookmark & Share  |  Comment |   |  Back to List |  << Previous Next >>
This is the third in a series of four letters.
In order to evaluate David's job offer correctly, CareerLab conducted an executive compensation study which told us what comparable salaries, bonuses, benefits, and relocation packages were being offered by similar size companies, in similar industries, in the same geographic area. Our analysis revealed that the offer was somewhat low. In addition, there was no severance in the package—a negative, since the job was risky. Equity opportunities were not spelled out clearly, nor was the relocation package. And David had not seen a copy of the non-compete agreement.

We told him we thought we could negotiate this offer—in other words, get more. One of the things one can determine by negotiating is how the other side responds when pushed. Do they clam up? Get hostile? Become aggressive? Withdraw and pout? Or do they come back in a business-like way trying to reach agreement.

What is their style? If it's hostile and beligerent, look out. Working for them might not be such a breeze. The honeymoon might end quickly. As one of our clients, Ed Tauer said, "They never treat you better than when they're trying to hire you."

Since David had another potential job offer developing in the background—albeit somewhat slowly—he decided to counter by asking for everything he wanted. The football reference at the end of the letter derives from the fact that the Super Bowl was only a week away—and "going to the Super Bowl" implies making it big.

I generally recommend accepting a job offer first, and then negotiating key points second, not the other way around. "I'm accepting the offer, and looking forward to getting started, but I have some concerns about the relocation," is far different that, "I need $65,000 for relocation or I won't accept your offer."

2200 N. Forsythe Rd. | Los Angeles, CA 89900
H: 213-575-8245 | C: 213-744-2158 | willford@aol.com

January 13, 20––

Ronald Lando
President/CEO ABC Manufacturing, Inc.
1298 Pine Hills Road Orlando, FL 22781

Dear Mr. Lando:

I am very excited about the offer you extended on January 13, 20––, and look forward to accepting it. I feel very confident I will make a very significant contribution to the growth and profitability of ABC Manufacturing over the short and long term. The terms you have described are acceptable, with a few minor changes.

First of all, your offer mentions a confidentiality and non-compete agreement. I would like to see a copy of the actual agreement. In consideration for signing the agreement, I propose a one year severance package to be implemented if my employment is terminated for any reason other than cause. The reason for the severance is twofold: (1) as compensation for signing the non-compete, and (2) because of the inherently risky nature of the job.

In performing due diligence on this offer, I talked with a compensation consultant about comparable salaries in similar businesses in Orlando. Companies the size of ABC Manufacturing typically pay $115K base, plus $30K bonus, plus $30K potential bonus. Based on this, I'd like you to consider a $100K base salary. The bonus you have extended, while not a guarantee, is still workable-and I believe we can reach ambitious goals. If you have questions about the market study, I'll be glad to have you talk to Michele Tabor, the compensation expert.

As far as relocation is concerned, the $1000 per month for up to six months works fine. We agreed that if I move my family to Florida, ABC Manufacturing will pay 50% of my relocation costs, including real estate commissions and closing costs, and I will pay the other 50%.

During my interviews we discussed stock or other equity participation in the company, and with your agreement—assuming the results are there—I would like to put a stock plan in place that is acceptable to everyone over the course of the next year. 

Mr. Ronald Lando
January 15, 20––
Page Two

In exchange for these concessions, I'm prepared to deliver results quickly:

First of all, I would depend heavily upon the Board of Directors and utilize their wisdom and experience.
In the aftermath of the loss of your Director of Marketing—and the potential loss of a major customer—I would immediately establish a personal relationship with each key customer and supplier of raw materials, and develop a profile to understand customers' and suppliers' current and future needs.
Working with the Plant Manager and his team, I would establish key metrics for volume, efficiency, delivery, and employee turnover. It wouldn't be unrealistic to expect a 20% improvement in productivity.
This would lead to a long-term vision, mission, and business plan for a highly profitable, fast-growing business.
In other words, I'd quickly achieve the results we've discussed, and free up Devon Stephens to pursue his other business ventures. I'm excited about the results we can achieve together. Let's go to the Super Bowl with ABC Manufacturing.

Sincerely yours,

David R. Willford

David put this on the fax and held his breath. Was it too aggressive? Even though he was working on a second opportunity, it was developing slowly. He didn't want to
lose this offer. Walk this way to see what ABC Manufacturing came back with

Print View |  Bookmark & Share  |  Comment |   |  Back to List |  << Previous Next >>


Add a Comment
Your rating:
Your URL:
Your e-mail:
Enter security code:
 Security code
(please enter the
numbers on the image)

William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.