A counteroffer can be daunting, but if played right, both you and your employer can be happy with the results. A successful counteroffer is simply a negotiation where a decision is reached to benefit both sides. When determining your counteroffer, consider these three rules:

  1. Research and Plan
  2. Bring Proof
  3. Be Confident

Research and Plan

If your idea of a successful counteroffer is to simply multiply the initial offer by 10%, thinking that employers usually try to underestimate you, you will come up with an irrelevant figure that does not relate to your specific needs. You must be prepared during salary negotiations. First off, take time to discover what compensation amount you would be happy to receive. To avoid making poor decisions, it is vital to know what you’re able to accept before you even get to the negotiation. Research every aspect of your position, including average compensation, current salary range, and competitiveness of the job market. Meanwhile, research the company and the position to get a better grasp of the company’s current position in the market. Valuable sites to utilize for salary research are Payscale, Vault, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). For example, according to NACE, the average salary of an IT project manager in Atlanta, Georgia is $83,650.

Bring Proof

Let your skills and experience do the talking during your counteroffer. Once you reach a number that is tailored to your value, bring proof to justify your counteroffer. The best way to display your skills in the most valuable way is to first discover the specific needs of the company. Once you understand the company’s needs, you can emphasize your specific talents and expertise. The proof will highlight your value as an employee, bring leverage during salary negotiations, and justify your counteroffer. Personality is another important factor during negotiations. Companies usually don’t like hiring candidates that will make unreasonable requests because they fear it could lead to high-maintenance employees. The key is to be nice and concise.

Be Confident

If you’re not going to ask for a higher salary, then who will? It can seem scary to engage in negotiations with a recruiter. However, recruiters expect employee prospects to go into salary negotiations. Therefore, it’s better to ask and to be rejected than not ask at all.

Inevitably, money can’t buy happiness. If you are torn between offers and know that one pays less but will be a better fit for you personally, then pick the better fit. You will be able to make up the difference in salary by working exceptionally in an environment where you excel.