Wish, want, walk negotiating technique

How many times have you gone for a job interview, and been offered a lower salary than you were hoping for and took the job anyway because you needed a job? Or because you had gone so far down the process of salary negotiation that you didn’t want to walk away?

Next time you’re applying for a job, pitching for work from a new client, or even buying a new bike, use this style of negotiation: The Wish, Want, Walk Negotiating Technique.


What is your dream result? This can be as wild as you want--dream big! If you don’t ask for what you really are wishing for, you can never have the chance of getting it.

For example, maybe you WISH to be offered a salary of $100,000.


This is the main part of the negotiation and where most deals are made. Because probably, the person you’re negotiating with is not going to just hand you your wish.

But this is where you can be smart about the result. You are wishing for $100,000. Why? Is it because that would allow you the freedom not to work on weekends at your side hustle? Is it because right now you’re stretched to make ends meet because of expenses like a dog-walker and a nanny for your child after school? Is it because you really want to be able to start taking a nice vacation every year.

What if you adjusted your wants in this way:

WANT #1: $80,000 plus four weeks of vacation instead of two. Would this give you for a side hustle that would pay for a nicer vacation?

WANT #2: $90,000 and flexible work hours. If you had more flexible hours could you pick your kids up from school yourself and walk your dog yourself?

WANT #3: _______________________________________ (Try creating your own Want, which would make you happy accepting this job offer even if it was less than your WISH of $100,000.


Your WALK is the point at which you will walk away from the position--when it’s just not worth if for you to accept. So often, we feel like we’ve gone so far in the interview process, that it feels like a waste to turn down the job. So then we take the job, and are unhappy because it’s longer, more rigid hours than we hoped for and less pay and we end up quitting within a year and are back to looking for another job, or sticking it out unhappily for years.

If you go into the negotiation process knowing that if your WANTS aren’t met, you’ll walk away, you’ll actually be happier in the long-term. Most of the time, it’ll never come to the WALK stage, because the person you’re negotiating with wants to work with you. You wouldn’t have made it to the negotiating stage if he or she didn’t! You have something valuable to offer, and they want to reach a deal just as much as you do.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your:




Chantel Guertin