Had a previous client ask about negotiating with a potential high-level employee. Said it seemed like it was “just about the money,” and he was becoming disillusioned with this candidate because of that feeling.
Negotiations are just that — negotiations. They aren’t always a single exchange.
The same argument could be made about companies — if they won’t pay more, is it just about money, then?? Shouldn’t the company’s motivation be something greater than the short-term salary cost?
Candidates and employers have the same objective in a compensation negotiation — only 180 degrees apart. It’s not a value judgment on either side. Both have needs, desires, and preferences. I’m being a bit facetious just to point out that, as long as negotiations are productive, and the person is a good fit, keep going. Many people, especially those more senior, are trying to get the best possible deal in exchange for their efforts. It doesn’t make them “all about money,” it could simply mean they are trying to maximize their value.
Also, detailed agreements at the start stage can go a long way toward preventing misunderstandings and missed expectations later.
It doesn’t have to be a win-lose situation. Negotiate in good faith; be strong, but do what’s best for your organization, not your ego.