What to do When Salary Negotiation Fails

What is your desired salary?’’ The unwritten rule when it comes to salary is this: whoever proposes a number first loses. When you interview, you should never feel pressured to answer this question. Simply let your interviewer know that the most important thing to you is how well you fit the position.” – Travis Bradberry

Talking about money requires an extra care whether you are negotiating a new salary at your current job or negotiating for a new job. Looking at it from the perfect sense it’s really not bad to ask for a raise because at some point we all want to make progression. But what happens when salary negotiation fails?

If your negotiation turns out negative, don’t panic; be calm; now go get ready for re-negotiation.

In this article, you will find out some hints about what to do when salary negotiation fails.

Negative Response

It sure feels really bad to get the negative response when negotiating salary especially when you are sure you went through the right process of asking for a raise and you have done your research about the market rate. But what do you do at this point?

Whe n salary negotiation fails, don’t hesitate, remain composed, be in control of your emotions and stay professional. Now ask for clarification and try to find out why your offer is being rejected and how you can improve on your performance in case of re-negotiation (that is if you are currently working in the organization), but if you are not, ask for some time and try to think about it the offer.

Don’t back off; Focus on the future

Following an unsuccessful negotiation, don’t dwell on the past; it’s time to move on. Now what is the next step?

Think about it “is this an opportunity for me to re-evaluate myself to be sure this is the right role for me?”  Maybe it’s time to make improvement on my career and take it to the next level.

But before you do that, ask your manager if your performance can be evaluated at least for the next 3-6 months (this shows your willingness to work and commitment to the job) and it provides you with a substantial target.

Don’t be afraid to walk up to the manager and ask what you can do to change that negative reply to a positive one.

Company Rate/Market Rate

When it comes to salary negotiation, don’t forget that salary is only one term of employment. What else is on the table – vacation time, benefits, bonuses, flex days? Before determining that these terms are ‘must-haves’ or ‘giveaways’ to get a bigger salary, find out what the counterpart has to offer”. Christopher Voss

It is one thing to know that the salary you are asking for is in line with market rate and it is another to know if your company can afford the market rate.

Sometimes, when negotiation goes wrong, it’s not from you, it might be from the company probably because they cannot afford the market rate. If this is the case, and you still want the job, it’s not a big deal… ask for other perks and benefits like vacation, transport allowance, flexible schedule, tuition reimbursement.

Before you back off try negotiating for other benefits because getting some of those extra benefits can make the low salary easier to deal with.

Time for Re-negotiation

Every negotiation process starts with a case on why you deserve a raise so what have you done differently since your last salary review? Have you taken up new responsibilities? Have you done a thorough research on the market value and do you know your worth? Did you plan with your manager to do things differently in order to achieve the success you need?

 If your answer is yes to these questions then it’s time to go and re-negotiate…

Maybe It’s Time To Make Another Move

Sometimes when you don’t get the salary you want, it could be that all your efforts is not just being appreciated or they are not seeing the value you are bringing to the organization.

What happens at this point? Maybe it’s time for a change. It may be advisable to start looking out for something better, you can check out the salaries of other companies where you fit in. There might be places where you will be paid fairly.


What do you do when salary negotiation fails?

Don’t give up easily.  Getting the pay you are worth can be easy but that is if you go through the right process. What steps have you taken to be better at what you do? Are you adding value to the organization, or you just keep focusing on what you are asked to do?

Try to find out what others are doing and do it even better; learn new skills, take up new responsibilities and if you have gone through this process, find out your worth, follow our re-negotiation process and hit your manager’s office for re-negotiation.

How was your salary negotiation experience? We would love to hear from you. Tell us about it in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Stop guessing salary ranges, use our salary insight tool to find out what you are worth.

Frances Anonu

11 thoughts on “What to do When Salary Negotiation Fails

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top