I'm in a special situation where myself and 2 long time colleagues have been contracting with a company. After some time of contracting, it was made clear on both sides that the company wanted to bring us all on as normal employees, and this was generally seen as beneficial for all. The process however has moved slow for all involved.
After some delay and waiting on written offers we have received verbal offers over the phone. The person delivering the offers was the team manager, but it is clear that he is not the one deciding the numbers or details, just the messenger. He asked for thoughts on the verbal offer, and I gave positive feedback, but also that I'd like to wait for the full details in a written offer to consider it and discuss it further with my wife. The tone was that it was positive but that waiting for a written offer is the next step.
The offer was good but needs some negotiation, which due to our relationship with the company will probably be allowed. The problem is that the written offer has been delayed, and I'm worried whether I should have been more vocal initially in stating I needed a higher number. I am also unsure on who to send the negotiation to since the person who delivered the verbal offer doesn't seem to be a decision maker.
Should the verbal offer be the start of negotiation, or should one wait for a formal written offer that is likely to come, but is being delayed? Should I assume that the messenger of the verbal offer is my point contact, or try to find the decision maker and go directly? Finally, have I missed my negotiation chance since I didn't immediately respond as such to the verbal offer?