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How to Negotiate for a Raise or Promotion – Part 2

Do you know how to negotiate for a raise or promotion? Follow these tips!

  1. You must always self-promote! This is the most important step in negotiating, and is the most difficult for women. Women HATE self-promotion, they hate singing their own praises because it feels cocky, overly confident or boastful. If you don’t let others know of your accomplishments on a regular basis, you will continue to be outplayed, out-salaried and out-maneuvered by others.
  2. Schedule a meeting with your boss with the intentions that you’d like to discuss your contributions to the company and compensation packages. That way both parties know exactly what to expect in the meeting. –Do not wait for your annual review to ask for your raise, ask beforehand.
  3. Do your homework! Suze Orman recommends that you prepare a 1-page document (no longer) that describes your contributions to the company. Give this to your boss a few days before your scheduled meeting. It’s difficult to reject someone’s request for a raise when you’ve backed up your points with research and facts.
  4. Know what you want. –Do you know exactly what you’re asking for? Be clear on this. Are you asking for a 1% increase, a bonus, an assistant, stock options, a bigger office, or a better title? You need to be completely sure of what you want or else you’ll get steamrolled in the negotiations and leave with nothing.
  5. Come prepared to the meeting with a list of accomplishments. Know your accomplishments well and be able to speak about the value you added to the company.
  6. Always ask for more! It’s part of basic negotiating strategies. People expect that you’ll ask for more, and you can expect that your boss will offer less. That’s how it goes. Money is powerful and if you don’t ask for more money right now, then you will feel the cumulative effects years later when you can’t retire, or afford a vacation or worse yet, can’t afford to walk away from a toxic work environment. You must always ask for more.
  7. Keep your emotions out of the office! Seriously, you must stick to the facts. This is a business transaction, there’s nothing personal about it, so don’t bring the personal into it.
  8. Do not cry if your request for a raise gets rejected. What else can you negotiate? Flex-time, more vacation time, shorter work day, more responsibility at work, different projects, etc. Don’t leave that office without something gained for you, or else it’ll be a defeating and deflating experience.
  9. Realize that a raise isn’t an automatic feature built into jobs. Sometimes people expect a raise because they’ve worked hard, or have been there for a year, or haven’t had a raise in a year. And actually, none of these reasons matter. The only thing that matters is results. Did you get results for your company? A raise isn’t automatic. RESULTS are expected. Keep adding value and making contributions to your company and you’ll be duly compensated.
  10. If you don’t think you can wing it during the negotiation meeting, then look in the mirror and say your pitch. Ask a friend to role play with you as you go through objections. Have your counter arguments ready to meet any objections. This will better prepare you for the actual meeting. Ask with confidence, and if you don’t have a lot of confidence, then fake it! (And keep practicing).
  11. Never, ever start negotiations by apologizing for taking up time. Stop apologizing! The absolute worst time to apologize is at the beginning of a negotiation. It sets the wrong tone; you come across as meek, tentative, and unsure of yourself. Like why would you apologize? You booked the meeting ahead of time, your boss knows why you called the meeting, you came prepared, and you’re not wasting anyone’s time. Kick yourself the next time you apologize. Ugh. Enough said.
  12. Ask for something specific. Don’t ask yes or no questions. Avoid asking “Can I have a raise?” Ah, no, you can’t. There, case is closed. Now what do you do? Instead, always give your boss a choice. “I’d be willing to accept a 5% or 6% increase, what do you think?”
  13. If you hear “no” or get rejected…PERSIST. This is a deal breaker. Women walk away after the first “no”, and men are just getting warmed up. Your boss will perceive you differently if you walk away without a fight versus persisting and coming at the objection in different ways. You’re either perceived as weak and easy to say no to, OR you’re perceived as confident and someone who knows their value. Confidence always wins out.

Here’s how women typically start the negotiations:

“I’m sorry to spring this on you, I’m not sure if this is a good time or not, but I was wondering if we could possibly talk about my salary. It’s not that I don’t love working here, and I’m really grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had here, it’s just that daycare is expensive, and I haven’t had a salary increase in a few years, and I was hoping you could help me out a little.”

Here’s how someone who’s confident would start negotiations:

“Based on the contributions and values I’ve added to the company over the past year,[such as….] I’m underpaid.”

Oh. My. Goodness. Do you see the difference?

The woman starts off with an apology, starts droning on and on, she’s really tentative, unsure, and never mentions her values and contributions and then she ends with a yes or no question. So the answer to her raise request is easily a “no.”