Author Topic: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)  (Read 3792 times)

lifejoy

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Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« on: May 30, 2016, 04:34:48 PM »
I've been working as a consultant for a jewellery store. My pay has been 100% commission-based, but the owner wants to bring me on full-time.

The salary he offered me is $40k + 10% commission of the store's profits. Based upon his estimations (and I met with him and his accountant, so I feel this is accurate) I would stand to make an extra $1000-2000 or so from the commission. So then it looks like $52k - $64k.

At my current other job, I'm making $42k plus bonuses, which rolls out to be around $50k. I would really like the jewellery store to pay me a salary of $45k. However, when the jewellery store owner starting talking to me today, he asked if $40k + 10% commission sounded good, and I told him that it sounded competitive (because when he explained it to me, it sounded like $60k.) He has not yet drawn up the contract. I would like to go in tomorrow (or email) and say that I've slept on it, and crunched the numbers myself, and I think that $45k base salary would be better. But how to rationalize?

One thought is that my current job is 35hours per week, and this new job he mentioned something like 40-45 hours. Given that, I could say, "I realized that I wasn't comparing apples and apples. Given that this job has slightly more hours, I'd like slightly more compensation."

OR I can scrap this whole plan and just ask for a raise in six months. But I would prefer to practice my negotiation skills. My brain went into auto-pilot "I'll do this job for anything" mode. :/

How can I handle this?

TL;DR: How do I negotiate a better offer when I already said that "based upon my research this looks to be competitive". I have not yet received anything in writing. Ack!

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 05:08:32 PM »
I am researching on the internet and it's making me think that asking for more money will reflect poorly on me because I verbally accepted. UGH. Chalk it up to a lesson learned, maybe.

Neustache

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 05:13:31 PM »
This is a highly rewarding job for you, if I recall.  I'd take it, and negotiate higher pay later.  Be the best you salesperson you can be, show your worth, make him profitable, and I think you'll get a raise.  He's taking a huge gamble hiring his first employee.  I wouldn't play too much hardball, personally.

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 05:18:01 PM »
This is a highly rewarding job for you, if I recall.  I'd take it, and negotiate higher pay later.  Be the best you salesperson you can be, show your worth, make him profitable, and I think you'll get a raise.  He's taking a huge gamble hiring his first employee.  I wouldn't play too much hardball, personally.

I think I'm just beating myself up because I've read so many things about how women don't ask for more money. And I'm just perpetuating the stereotype. :(

You're right - I need to focus on the rewards of the job instead of just the $$$ rewards.

How soon do you think a raise could be negotiated? Six months?

LeRainDrop

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 05:28:45 PM »
I'm not sure what your current job is, so unless it is something comparable, then what you're currently paid really is not relevant to the value of THIS job to THIS employer.  Obviously, I understand that you personally are looking for a position that earns you more money than you were making before, but that does not change what this new job is worth from the employer's perspective.  If your research really did bear out that $40k salary plus the 10% commission is competitive in that market, then I wouldn't push it further at this time.  It just means that the employer gave you a fair offer from the start, which I think goes to show that he has a lot of confidence in you and a lot of of hope that this arrangement will work out for both of you long-term.  I would just focus on doing the best sales job and representing the company well to its customers that you can, and perhaps that 10% will end up being even more valuable to you than you currently estimate!  My personal opinion is that it's fair to renegotiate salary after the 1-year mark, but given that it's already the end of May, perhaps the start of 2017 would actually make good sense.  Congrats on the new job!!!

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 05:34:39 PM »
I'm not sure what your current job is, so unless it is something comparable, then what you're currently paid really is not relevant to the value of THIS job to THIS employer.  Obviously, I understand that you personally are looking for a position that earns you more money than you were making before, but that does not change what this new job is worth from the employer's perspective.  If your research really did bear out that $40k salary plus the 10% commission is competitive in that market, then I wouldn't push it further at this time.  It just means that the employer gave you a fair offer from the start, which I think goes to show that he has a lot of confidence in you and a lot of of hope that this arrangement will work out for both of you long-term.  I would just focus on doing the best sales job and representing the company well to its customers that you can, and perhaps that 10% will end up being even more valuable to you than you currently estimate!  My personal opinion is that it's fair to renegotiate salary after the 1-year mark, but given that it's already the end of May, perhaps the start of 2017 would actually make good sense.  Congrats on the new job!!!

This helps. Thank you for weighing in. My current job is in a different field - good point!

He did not discuss vacation days or benefits yet - maybe that is a place where I can open up some negotiation? Honestly it was so informal, I was really caught off guard.

My research has shown me that $60k is good, but it's not clear if that number includes commission or is just the base pay. Do you think that glassdoor.com salaries include commission pay?

Neustache

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 05:39:53 PM »
BTW, congrats on the offer.  That's really great! :D

He obviously sees something special in you if he's willing to take you one as his first employee.  That's such a huge step for him (and for you!). 

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 06:32:45 PM »
BTW, congrats on the offer.  That's really great! :D

He obviously sees something special in you if he's willing to take you one as his first employee.  That's such a huge step for him (and for you!).

Thank you :) :) :)

I'm going to focus on sentiments like this so I can just feel PUMPED instead of like a failure feminist ;)

meghan88

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2016, 06:46:25 PM »
I'm not sure what your current job is, so unless it is something comparable, then what you're currently paid really is not relevant to the value of THIS job to THIS employer.  Obviously, I understand that you personally are looking for a position that earns you more money than you were making before, but that does not change what this new job is worth from the employer's perspective.  If your research really did bear out that $40k salary plus the 10% commission is competitive in that market, then I wouldn't push it further at this time.  It just means that the employer gave you a fair offer from the start, which I think goes to show that he has a lot of confidence in you and a lot of of hope that this arrangement will work out for both of you long-term.  I would just focus on doing the best sales job and representing the company well to its customers that you can, and perhaps that 10% will end up being even more valuable to you than you currently estimate!  My personal opinion is that it's fair to renegotiate salary after the 1-year mark, but given that it's already the end of May, perhaps the start of 2017 would actually make good sense.  Congrats on the new job!!!

This helps. Thank you for weighing in. My current job is in a different field - good point!

He did not discuss vacation days or benefits yet - maybe that is a place where I can open up some negotiation? Honestly it was so informal, I was really caught off guard.

My research has shown me that $60k is good, but it's not clear if that number includes commission or is just the base pay. Do you think that glassdoor.com salaries include commission pay?

Focus on the benefits because you can probably get some extra value there.  Higher, or immediate, RRSP matching if it's available?  Immediate benefits re. dental, vision etc. rather than waiting 3 months?  Salary review after 6 months instead of 12?  You are a known quantity because you've been a consultant so you should not have to go through a probation period.

And quite frankly if they like you and know you, you have nothing to lose by simply asking for more because you've done further research and you know that you're just plain worth it.  The worst thing that can happen is that they say no.

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2016, 07:10:41 PM »

rockstache

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 07:38:27 PM »
You don't have a responsibility to represent all women. You have to do what's right for you. I think you got some good advice here, and I would absolutely try to negotiate benefits; an extra week of vacation, an earlier salary review etc.

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 07:40:48 PM »
You don't have a responsibility to represent all women. You have to do what's right for you. I think you got some good advice here, and I would absolutely try to negotiate benefits; an extra week of vacation, an earlier salary review etc.

Thanks. :)

Sometimes it is surprisingly comforting to hear things like that :)

mozar

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2016, 08:45:07 PM »
I would get more confirmation about the hours and say something to effect about how you can't make less base for more hours. The difference between 40k and 45k is not that much to the owner. He's getting a deal since he already knows you, think of it as he has to make it "worth it" to you to leave your current job. Is there anywhere you can find actual salaries? Can you talk to a jewelry association?

It may be that benefits are standard across the company and the owner can't negotiate that. I also assume when I'm negotiating that I will never get a raise ever.

Quote
I need to focus on the rewards of the job instead of just the $$$ rewards.

No, just no. The owner isn't just thinking about the rewards of the jobs vs the $$$. You should be thinking about the $$$ too. For the owner it's a business decision.
The way it sounds tricky to me though is the the owner is a friend? So maybe this doesn't apply because you might not want to play hardball with him. My employers are never my friends so I can't relate to that.
But at the end of the day you have a choice to stay at your job or go to this new one, and that's the point of feminism. Having a choice.

mxt0133

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2016, 09:57:28 PM »
Like other's have said here you need to compare apples to apples.  Yes, you said the offer sounded competitive but you need to look at total compensation.  If he comes back to you and says but you verbally agreed, politely state that all things being equal, PTO, benefits, hours, ect that is what you said was accurate.  That the initial offer did sound competitive.  Now if you get the formal offer on hand, you need to look at the total compensation package, again PTO, benefits, 401k matching, ect to make a better comparison and final decision.

If it's your dream job, then you really have nothing to loose if you turn it down, you will still work there part-time right?  If the salary is non-negotiable just tell him that it doesn't make financial sense to take a lower paying job and loose your additional income from working part-time.  You gotta eat right, he doesn't know your husband is a doctor right?  =)

Good luck.



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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2016, 10:22:05 PM »
One thought is that my current job is 35hours per week, and this new job he mentioned something like 40-45 hours. Given that, I could say, "I realized that I wasn't comparing apples and apples. Given that this job has slightly more hours, I'd like slightly more compensation."


This.   Ask for the higher base salary, and maybe only 8% commission?

unless, you could see a way to help increase overall store profits?

lifejoy

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2016, 10:46:42 PM »
I guess I should mention that he is the business owner and manager, and I would be the first employee! :)

I think once I have the offer on paper, I will address specifics like paid time off, opportunities for a raise, opportunities for paid training, etc.

bognish

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2016, 01:01:17 PM »
"10% commission of the store's profits" This is very different that 10% commission on your sales. Store profits can be highly variable and totally out of your control. This is a very riskly line in the offer, and you would want to make sure you really understand the risk, how the % is calculated and how often before counting on those dollars.

Axecleaver

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2016, 01:22:56 PM »
When negotiating with business owners, the more you can push your offer toward rewards based on results, the better off you'll be. Asking for more base or vacation time is a "sunk cost" while asking for more commission means he only pays you more if he's profiting more. That's a scenario he'd love to provide you great incentives to achieve.

Depending on how comfortable you are with your ability to meet sales quotas, consider taking the 40k and asking for 15%. Making 1-2k a month commission on 10% of profits means you're making the owner 10-20k a month. If you could get 15% of profits on that volume, it would mean an extra 500-1000 a month, or $6000-12000 a year. Try negotiating for higher commission, instead.

I would also compare the offer to what you're making now as 100% commission. Does this offer provide additional job security at the expense of total dollars? Is it more total pay or less, based on your prior sales? I also share Bog's concern that "10% of profit" is a tough number to fully understand. Make sure you understand how this is calculated. Ask what his gross margin and net margin is to help you gauge this number. You might already know.

FIRE47

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Re: Job offer: Help me ask for more money! :)
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2016, 01:58:08 PM »
I would definitely make sure the 10% line is in writing for how it is calculated and in a way that is fair - if he has to pay 10% of all profits out on top of income taxes he is going to have a very big incentive to reduce profits in the company to as low a level as possible which is obviously not in your best interest or even in your control. This provision seems like a very easy one to abuse. On a very simple level the owner can just pay himself a higher salary for example to reduce profits. Sales is a much harder number to manipulate this way short of actually fudging the numbers and is also directly under your control.


« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 02:01:25 PM by FIRE47 »