Many sales people take this as an opportunity to show their negotiating chops. It’s a jousting match. It’s a poker-faced compensation tango dance. An early battle for the upper hand. I get it. They think if they display good negotiating skills in this opening volley, I’ll entrust them to do the same once they’re carrying my card.

One through three acted as expected. Almost on cue.

“Well, I have a few other things going on and I was hoping for a little more. Do you think there’s any room there?”

Box checked.

Then Number 4. I explained the comp plan as a mix of salary plus bonus. I explained the upside. I explained how I needed a hunter.

Number 4 looked down at his notes. Silent. Contemplative. Breathless. I waited, determined not to save him. He lifted his head and looked to me. A more confident and deliberate move, I have rarely witnessed. He looked me straight in the eyes.

“Matt, if you offer me this job, and agree to pay me that package, you will never regret it. I will be successful. I will do whatever it takes. This company is my number one choice. I want to work for you and you alone. I will not let you down. And, that’s my best shot. I want this opportunity.”

Number 11 to Number 4.

Number 1.