Turning the Tables: 5 Savvy Strategies to Tackle Lowball Job Offers

Jun 4, 2023 | Overcoming Perceived Liabilities

Turning the Tables


In the world of job hunting, dealing with lowball job offers can often be a balancing act. It’s critical to understand how to constructively start the counter, not be disrespectful when the offer is way off and avoid burning bridges with potential employers.

During part 6 of this 8-part series for navigating the challenging parts of your job search process, we will explore five key strategies to negotiate like a pro when confronted with a lowball offer.


Part 6: 5 Savvy Strategies to Tackle Lowball Job Offers


Do Your Homework

Before you even enter the negotiation conversation, it’s essential to arm yourself with accurate market data. Understand the industry standards for your role, factor in the years of experience you bring to the table, and consider the geographical location of the job. Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, or LinkedIn Salary Insights can help you determine your worth in the job market. Doing your homework in advance will equip you with a clear and justifiable basis for negotiation.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Receiving a lowball offer can be disheartening, and it’s natural to feel undervalued. However, it’s vital to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the negotiation process. Remember, this is a business discussion, not a personal attack on your worth. Keeping emotions at bay can foster a productive conversation, which is pivotal to moving the negotiation forward in a positive direction.

Counteroffer with Confidence

Once you’ve crunched the numbers and maintained your cool, it’s time to counteroffer. You need to be confident, assertive, and precise. Rather than focusing solely on the salary, also consider other compensation aspects such as bonuses, stock options, and benefits. A well-thought-out, comprehensive counteroffer will portray you as a knowledgeable professional, potentially leading to a more beneficial negotiation outcome.

Leverage Multiple Offers

Having simultaneous offers from multiple companies can actually be a powerful bargaining tool. However, it’s a delicate process that needs to be handled with tact. Instead of pitting potential employers against each other, use this situation to showcase your market desirability. It’s a subtle way of letting employers know that their offer needs to be competitive to secure your services.

Cultivate Open Communication

Lastly, transparency is key. Express your concerns about the lowball offer in a respectful, diplomatic manner. Demonstrate that you value the opportunity but also believe in fair compensation for your skills and experience. Engaging in open conversation fosters trust and allows for a mutual understanding, which is essential in achieving a satisfactory agreement.

By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the murky waters of salary negotiation and secure a job offer that respects your worth. Starting a counteroffer can sometimes be the hardest part of the negotiation process. Here are 10 potential conversation starters to consider when you are countering a lowball job offer:

  1. “Thank you for the offer. I’ve taken some time to consider it and, given my experience and industry standards, I was hoping for a more competitive package…”
  2. “I appreciate your offer and am excited about the opportunity to work with your team. However, I’d like to discuss the compensation package in a bit more detail…”
  3.  “I’ve done some research on the industry norms for this role, and it appears the offer is somewhat below the average range. I believe that my qualifications and experience justify a higher compensation…”
  4. “Considering the responsibilities of the position and the value I can bring to the team, I feel that a more equitable offer would be…”
  5. “Thank you for the offer. However, I was expecting a salary more in line with…”
  6. “I’m enthusiastic about the possibility of joining your team. I’m sure we can come to an agreement on salary that’s fair and reflective of the value I’ll bring…”
  7. “I’ve taken some time to review the offer and would like to discuss the base salary. Given my skills and the market value for this role, I believe a more fitting range would be…”
  8. “I’m thrilled about the offer and look forward to contributing to the team. However, I’d like to discuss a salary adjustment to better align with the role’s responsibilities and my experience…”
  9. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with you, but the current offer is a bit lower than what I was anticipating. Would there be room to adjust the base salary to…”
  10. “I truly appreciate the offer and am keen to bring my expertise to your company. However, based on my understanding of the industry standard, I feel a higher compensation would be more appropriate…”



Contact ECP for more information and coaching support

After all, in the words of Chester Karrass, “In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”


Next Week, Part 7: “Managing Conflicts of Interest and Non-Compete Clauses”

Patrick Lage

Written By: Terri Wiksten, Chief Operating Officer

Terri Wiksten is a dynamic powerhouse who works harder than anyone you know and tackles every task with 100% effort while maintaining her enthusiastic, cheerleader attitude!

She loves helping professionals save time and money as they search for their next challenge and thrives on how technology turned this industry on its head, allowing for constant change and opportunity to do things better and more effectively for our clients.