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Advice from “The Godfather” About Negotiating Salary | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter uses a memorable quote from “The Godfather” to offer advice about salary negotiation.



I’m back today with more advice from The Godfather about job hunting.  In the movie, it isn’t done a better job hunting. Marlon Brando plays The Godfather, James, Caan plays Place his older son, Sonny. Sonny is a hot tempered guy, very quick. There is a point where Sonny says something about what he is thinking and The Godfather says these words:

“Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking again.”

The idea behind this is often, in negotiations, people are asking you, “What do you think about the job?

I think it’s okay to answer them.  With regard to compensation,, you are always best served if you hold back a little bit.  You can say something like, “I’m thinking pretty favorably about this.  I’m hoping this is a high offer.

Avoid giving them a number in the negotiation phase.  Why? Because as soon as you give them a number, that’s the one that they are focused on.  No higher. No lower.  That’s it.

If you have 2 or 3 firms on the hook, then they will start bidding against one another.  You can start playing one off against the other

Recruiters may say something to you like, “Tell me what you are thinking.  What is it going to take to close the deal?”  In all candor, I do this all the time.  What serves you best is if you hold out what that number is problem is going to cause you to say yes.  Sometimes, the character strategy is that the recruiter will come back and lowball you.

You will respond by saying, “What! That is ridiculous!  I would never take an offer like that!”

“What would you take?”

At that point, you start talking about the number and then they’ve got you.

Hold off on talking about specific numbers that will cause you to say yes.  Like The Godfather says,, “Never tell anyone outside the family. What you are thinking.”  What will happen is that’s the only number they are going to be concerned about.  You’re better off if you have multiple situations going and tell them what the other firms are thinking, not what you are thinking.

Do you think employers are trying to help you?

You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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Advice from The Godfather” About Negotiating Salary


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter uses a memorable quote from “The Godfather”to offer advice about salary negotiation.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a recruiter for more than 40 years.

Follow him at The Big Game Hunter, Inc. on LinkedIn for more articles, videos and podcasts than what are offered here and jobs he is recruiting for.

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