Money Follows Love


All good sales people have one common negotiating principle. They never talk about the price at the initial meeting. Buying a product is an emotional decision. We do our very best to strategically analyze the cost/benefit of our decision, however, at the end of the day, it is our emotions, negative or positive, that sway the process.

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From my previous experience, it is not wise to discuss the issue of salary too early. The company needs to really appreciate and value your skills and abilities before it starts to consider whether it can afford you or not. After the company has ‘fallen in love’ with you, then you can negotiate the best possible package. Negotiating salary should come at the end of the process.

A leading European company was recently looking for a marketing director. It had been looking for several months before we were asked to help with the search. We introduced one of the strongest CNS marketing candidates in Japan. I spoke to the client, and he told me his company could only offer Y20 million a year for this director-level position.

Our candidate loved the client, and the prospect of being in charge of new product planning and overseeing the launch of a number of blockbuster products was very appealing. This was his focus, not the salary. He focused first on the position and after several meetings the client could see our man’s passion for the task at hand. His enthusiasm was backed with innovative marketing ideas to help generate sales. Our client knew it had found the right man. Our candidate focused on developing strong relations and made a very strong impression with the other marketing managers and directors. Putting it simply, they fell in love with him.

When it was time for the candidate to meet human resources, the marketing department “just had to have this guy”. It was now up to HR to close the deal. The candidate understood it was the marketing department that made the decisions. The marketing arm of the company generated sales and profits. Now it was time to negotiate salary. The candidate was looking for a 20% increase from what was on the table. Both the candidate and the prospective marketing department knew the value his efforts could bring to the company. His marketing efforts could certainly cover the cost of his salary increase.

The other important point is that HR and the candidate were creative and proactive in coming to a conclusion. The candidate focused on the entire package, not just monthly take home pay. This allowed the company to include a starting bonus, add a little to his housing and bumped up his salary a little. This all added up to a 20% increase.

In summary, there are four points to consider.

1. First things first. Focus on the position then the salary

2. Show the company you can deliver more than what you are worth

3. Woo the company with your passion and abilities. Make them fall in love with you

4. Be proactive and creative when negotiating. It’s not just about your monthly salary

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