I recently contacted an old friend/colleague that is now in management/HR regarding some random question. I explained that I enjoyed my time working there and he asked if I would ever consider coming back. I showed interest and was invited in for an interview.
Everything went pretty well, he didn't even want to test my skills for the job, explaining he knows me and knows I am competent already and he ended by asking how much I would like to make.
I gave him a figure slightly above average, he said ok and seemed like that wouldn't be a problem. He gave me his card and pointed out that all his contact info and phone number is on there incase I ever need anything.
He then followed up today via email and said he is unable to offer me the salary amount I requested.
My question is, what is the best way to follow up without encouraging a low ball offer and get a relatively good offer on the table? Note, no offer was made to this point and I want to work towards getting an offer.