It’s really in the candidate’s best interest to hear what a recruiter has to say before leading with money or title.
I hear ‘I’m only interested in senior vp/director/grandpoobah’ too often. Titling can be something that’s negotiated sometimes, and can be deciving across industries. Everyone’s a VP at a bank for example, while at Google, you can be a manager and that’s equivalent to a VP elsewhere.
I also get ‘I’m only interested in roles at $300K or higher.’ Bingo! The role pays $400K but now I know we have a lot of leverage.
Listen first, talk later. It’s the first rule of negotiating and the negotiations start with the first ping.
So, how do you respond to a recruiter? Take a page from Ross, “I’m all ears.”
Take notes, keep an open mind, speak carefully or ask to sleep on it overnight, and then come back with concerns as well as interest.