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The CoSell Blog

How Partner Managers Should Negotiate Their Salary & Equity

As a Partner Manager, you’ve got a long list of salary/equity terms that deserve top consideration. What can you do to negotiate your salary and/or equity to have an offer that gives you peace of mind?

While every negotiation has unique variances, there are 4 issues that compensation negotiations have in common.

01. Negotiate On What Matters

Let’s face it. The key issue of negotiating is focusing on what matters most to you. It may be pure, hard cash. It could be an option amount. It might termination clauses. It could be your passionate desire to be part of a company you know is going to light up the world.

Getting the best salary/equity terms with a high-growth company can transform your life in remarkable ways.

It’s important to do some advance prep work. Executive compensation is a complex area and deserves your full attention. This may include careful review of documents, getting everything in writing, and having a lawyer review the offer. Before you get to the bargaining table, prepare. It helps to know key terms, organizational standards, and avoid relying on assumptions.

For example, if you’re negotiating for a salary and terms that are out of sync with the organization, it is unlikely that your talks will go well. There are some terms that may fall into executive or company-wide compensation plans. These may include vesting schedules, acceleration terms, and salary levels. By researching, you’ll discover what is fixed company policy, and where you have more flexibility.

When it comes to negotiating what matters, look at your values. Values drive your behavior. What is it that you value most? Put clear criteria on your go/no go categories.

02. Be O.K. Leaving Out Lesser Terms

Having identified what really matters most to you, you’re in a wiser position. You know what’s your “must-have,” as opposed to your “nice-to-have.”

The same things about negotiating apply to making any important decision. Simply, be at peace with leaving out the stuff that is less important.

If you’re clear on what matters, you’ll have crystal clarity on what is less important. This is a great place to be when you’re negotiating for a contract or equity. You won’t get lost in the little bits that won’t really matter in the long run.

03. Don’t Let The Process Run Too Long

“Money loves speed.”

People who are focused, goal-oriented, high achievers appreciate speed. They know there are specific windows of opportunity for making smart decisions.

While you’re hemming and hawing, the executive team is looking at the whole process. Are you a top performer who values quick, insightful decisions? Or, are you a person who is reluctant to make a swift decision, always wanting to do further research?

This is not to suggest that research is not essential. It is critical. But, during negotiations, you’re not purely discussing salary and equity. Your pace, performance, and communication skills are also under review during the negotiations. Everything you do, don’t do, say, and don’t say is information for the directors.

When dynamic directors review your negotiating process, they won’t only look at the content details. They will examine your ‘fit’ to the organization through different lenses.

They will review if you were decisive, intuitive, communicative, and agile. They will examine if your personality and expectations are in line with their policies.

This may be a matter you can investigate, by coloring outside the lines. Talk to people who have worked with this organization. Find out what other people have to say about the compensation negotiation process. Explore deeper with your personal contacts at the firm. Reach out to people via your network with Partnership CoSelling and through Linked In.

04. Bottom Line: Know When To Say, “Yes!”

In compensation negotiations, much like buying a house, it helps to know when to say “Yes!” By having a clear set of priorities, sifting out the chaff from the wheat, and keeping the process moving forward — you’re already driving to a successful outcome.

The thing about saying, “Yes!” is that it is more about intuition and feeling, than precision and detail. There are times when you just know in your gut, “this is an opportunity I don’t want to miss.”

How you feel your intuition varies from individual to individual. It may be a warm glow in your gut. It could be an instinctual hunch such as a song, or a phrase popping in your head. It might be something kinesthetic, like laughing or slapping your leg. Something in the course of your negotiations will speak to you.

When this happens, there’s only one thing to do: Listen!

Saying “Yes!” is risky. It means you’re jumping into some dimension of the unknown. You will be part of a new organization. You’ll be working for a specific salary and equity that you’re negotiating. You won’t be in your old job, or working for yourself.

All these things are true. Yet, what’s also true is that you’re saying yes to your intuition. You are not just saying, “Yes” to the job. By listening to your gut, you’re charting a bold course in your life.

“Take risks now to do something bold. You won’t regret it.”

— Elon Musk

In Conclusion

Negotiating compensation and equity can be complicated. You need to familiarize yourself with the organization, as well as options, and terms. The way to simplify a very complex negotiation starts with you.

Follow these 4 steps and you’ll have a much easier time negotiating for what matters most to you:

  • Negotiate On What Matters
  • Be O.K. Leaving Out Lesser Terms
  • Don’t Let The Process Run Too Long
  • Know When To Say “Yes!”

When joining high growth companies, use all the tools of Partnership CoSelling to make the best decisions for your future.

Using a platform like is the simplest way to connect with leaders and managers, to gain powerful insights, and achieve rapid results.

If you’d like to explore how this can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast — please reach out to us. To learn more, check us out.



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