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If selected to be hired, best way to negotiate more salary


jack gamble Spring, TX

A district manager in the insurance or financial services industry typically makes around 60K plus bonus. I am getting close to being offered a DM position with a company but they only pay 39K plus bonus. Their angle is that the sky is the limit. Realistically, I think its a way for them to cut payroll. Therefore, what are some ideas to negotiate higher salary if I'm offered the position.

7 February 2014 4 replies Career Exploration



Chris Peck Atlanta, GA

Thanks for your service! I think that people often accept or eliminate prospective career opportunities based on base salary alone. While it's certainly important, base salary alone provides an incomplete picture of your "Total Rewards" that comes a job. Some of the other factors and questions you should ask the prospective employer:

- What is the base pay/variable pay (or commission) mix? 70/30, 80/20 are quite common.
- What is the total targeted compensation for the position? This includes both base and variable.
- Critical question: What percent of your district managers are paid "at target", below and above. A company can have a great "targeted" comp plan but it means little if no one is getting paid at/above that target.

- What are the non-cash benefits with the company? Does is offer a 401k? Is there a 401k match? Are there educational benefits? What are the healthcare coverages and costs.

- What is the advancement potential, and how long can you expect it to take? Look to see if the company in fact promotes from within or if your prospective bosses have all been external hires.

Bottom line, you should consider several factors beyond just the base salary itself.

Good luck to you!


Jamie Doud Houston, TX

Hi Jack, thanks for your service to our country. My Father was in the USAF.

I've been in H/R, recruiting and general business for 30+ years.

You rec'd some good advice above. I echo their suggestion by making sure you research salaries/bonus based on the specific job, your year's of experience, your educational level, industry, city, size of company # employees), public or private, and annual revenue. All of these are relevant to coming to a base salary and bonus #. Once you are comfortable you know the "mean" or average salary for your particular job, then you have a starting place to neogotiate.

Make sure you understand what minimum level of base salary you require to "pay the bills", and don't go below that. After that, the combination of base salary, pay for performance (bonus), relocation assistance, and other potential perks (car allowance, educational assistance, medical/dental/life insurance, etc.) all help determine the "Total Rewards" compensation for your efforts. Don't forget to look at the total picture in compensation.

Please remember: the economy is not in great shape, unemployment is still relatively high, the real employment rate is more like 12% with some 18M people out of work or underemployed. It's an employers market right now. There are 25-100+ job applicants for each job opening. Don't sell yourself short, but understand you are competing with many "hungry" talented job seekers out there. If you have enough $ to really negotiate "hard" then, negotiate "hard". If not, go for a "win-win", accept an offter that might not be "exactly" what you want, and show them what you are capable of doing during the next 6-12 months, and show yourself to be indespensible. Then renegotiate your salary/bonus at that particular point. If not, you still have a job, keep looking, and let another company "steal" you from that employer who you feel is not paying you enough for your efforts.

Best of luck.


Rick Baron Sarasota, FL

Certainly want to do your homework. is another source that can help you research salaries. I always recommend to go in with a number that is important to you and then evaluate where you're willing to go from there. If they push you beyond that number you may want to decline and see if they come back. Still have that number and be ready to kindly decline is important in many negotiations. Also, remember that they will also likely expect you to negotiate, so pausing, taking a day to consider and returning with a counter offer is always a good idea.

Lastly, remember that there is always room to negotiate, but harder after you start working for them, so choose wisely. Good luck! Rick


Phil C. Fort Worth, TX


If anyone were to give you some good solid advice, I think they would need more information on your situation. What kind of background, education and experience can you leverage to make the case for a higher salary? Do you have any other offers? If so I would mention them and let them compete for you. Have you ever head of a website called ""? Is commission involved?

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