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Purposeful Questioning for Negotiating a Job Offer

Man and Woman Conducting a Job Interview - Peter Barron Stark Companies You are interviewing for a job as a sales representative for a company that makes software for lawyers. Two of your main goals are to have more flexible working hours and to be able to telecommute a couple of days a week. You might ask the following questions to fulfill various purposes.

Gain information: “What specific types of experience are you looking for in a sales representative?” (You might not want to ask “Does the position call for any specific knowledge of the law?” if you are not experienced in that area.)

Clarify or verify information: CLARIFY: “When would you need me to start?” VERIFY: “This is a full-time position, isn’t it?”

Check understanding and level of interest: “What is more important to you – that the salesperson is in the office forty hours a week, or that he increases sales?”

Determine behavioral style: “Would you like me to role-play a typical sales presentation? Or would you prefer to see statistics that show how much I increased sales for my last company?”

Gain participation: “In what areas are you hoping to improve sales?”

Give information: “Did you know that I am fully set up to work from my home office and, in my current position, work two days a week from home?”

Start someone thinking: “What attributes do you think are most important in a salesperson?”

Bring attention back to the subject: “Can we talk more about flex time? Do your salespeople have to be in the office from nine to five?”

Reach agreement: “If I could guarantee an increase in your sales volume, would you be willing to consider more flexible working hours?”

Increase reception to your ideas: (If you want to work early hours and you live on the West Coast): “Don’t you think it’s best to call on potential customers on the East Coast first thing in the morning?”

Reduce tension: “Whenever I bring up the subject of flex time, you seem a little uncomfortable. Can you tell me why?”

Give positive strokes or build rapport: “It’s pretty frustrating when you know your product is better than all the others on the market, and yet your sales are not what they should be, isn’t it?”

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