How Do I Turn Down a Job Offer With Class When The Money Is Too Low?

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I am going to turn down their offer because they came in too low. How do I turn it down with class?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

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Accepting or Declining a Job Offer: Seeing Things as They Are

I have a friend who I’ll call “Sal” for the purpose of this article who has been in sales for almost a million years and almost 30 with his current firm. He’s good at what he does but, now that he is in his 60’s, started to have the bug about looking for a new job selling a product instead of a service as he has been doing.

One of his clients approached him about a job selling their “new whizbang software” and Sal met with them several times . . . the CEO, the CFO, one of the Board members. He was going to meet several of them for one final meeting at which time he was going to receive a job offer.

“During the last 9 months, how many hot leads have you generated?”


“What are your expectations of me when I come on?

“Sell one per month.”

“How many have you closed so far?”


“OK. Let me make sure I understand this correctly (he repeated the last few items of the dialogue).


“OK. Two things. It takes longer than a few weeks for counsel to go through the contract and try to negotiate better terms and, secondly, we’re about to enter the fourth quarter when calendar year companies firm up their budgets for the following year and no one has already put this into the budget. How do you expect someone to sign a contract?”

“Thank you very much but you want miracles, not a salesman; I’m going back to work.” And he left.

I’m sharing this story because too often people have unrealistic expectations. They see things through tinted lenses as they want to see things, rather than as they are.

Sal took the time to create a relationship with several friends who he went to for advice before accepting the proposal who all viewed it from a different perspective.


He saw things as they were, not as he hoped they would be!

By being clear, Sal was able to avoid a disaster that he could ill afford.


Not enough people do that.© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2010