• Cord Harper

The offer finally comes through.

You hurriedly scan through the document they sent via email to pick up the key details. Then you see the numbers. It's a low ball offer.

The excitement quickly goes the other direction. Your emotions plummet. Now you're offended, especially if you know their range was much higher than the number they offered. What do you do?

First, take a break. Pause and breathe. Don't make any snap decisions or take any knee jerk actions and fire off a terse email. This is just the opening round of negotiations.

Second, consider your options. There are always at least four: Accept; Reject; Counter; Do Nothing. All four have valid uses, even in this scenario.

Third, assess your alternatives. Do you have another opportunity nearing an offer? Are you currently employed and don't need to make a jump? Do you have financial reserves on which to draw for a longer period and can take your time? Or, do you need a job now to pay the bills?

There are many ways to approach a low ball offer to either improve it or use it to your short term advantage. If you have experienced advisers guiding you through these decisions your outcomes can be dramatically improved. Avoid making the mistakes driven by personal emotions.

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