Don’t take it personally.
You already know this but, reminder: no employer would ever bother to woo you, complete the interviews and generate an offer – only to insult their top candidate.
Do not let your anger or hurt feelings show.
This is the time for gathering your thoughts, making some solid decisions, and crafting a pitch-perfect response. It’s the time to showcase your composure and grace in moments of disappointment. It is not the time for acting like a prima donna or a fragile flower.
Analyse the gap
Analyse the market
Make the counter
That should be:
An upbeat restatement of your interest in joining the firm.
A brief comment that, while the offer is below your range, you would like to propose something to close that gap.
Details of your counter.
A thank you and reaffirmation of your interest.