• Jackie Mitchell

'Prep Talk' #2 - Preparing for Salary Negotiations

Getting a Raise and Boosting Your Salary

Negotiations are not as hard as you think. The key is to create win-win solutions for all parties involved. When you're negotiating your salary, you want to ensure that you're coming in to the conversation with confidence and quantifyable information (metrics).

In this second part of our 'Prep Talk' series, I'm going to talk about two types of salary negotiations:

1. Getting a raise from your current employer after a performance review

2. Getting an offer from a new opportunity

Two very different scenarios but very similar in approach, however, there are a few key differences.

Let's first generally focus on Negotiations. The key to negotiation is to do less talking and more listening. With negotiations and our nervousness, we can talk ourselves out of many things and leave money on the table. Do less talking and more listening.

Who are you negotiating with? You must know this. Even if meeting them for the first time, take the time to find out who they are. Ask a few strategic open ended questions that will get them talking about who they are and what they need. Find out their pain and determine how you can be a solution for them.

Simply stated, here are the 3 key things you're listening for:

  • What do they want/need?

  • What is their pain point?

  • Why do they want this?

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • What is that I want?

  • What am I willing to give in order to get what I want?

  • What solution can I bring to the negotiation that is a win for us both?

  • Why do you want what you want?

When negotiating a pay increase or salary for a new opportunity, one thing to keep in mind is that your goal is to display, explain, show, and communicate the value you bring.

Let's talk 'Getting a Raise and Boosting your Salary'

Getting a Raise:

So you've had your performance review, as discussed in the previous post and it's time to discuss your raise. What do you do next?

  • Come to the table with all of your supporting information. Don't tell them, SHOW them. Show them how your work translates to profit for the company. Show them that you are an INVESTMENT.

  • Be prepared with the details of your goals and quantifying how you've exceeded these goals, WITH your manager's agreement on these metrics. Your previous conversations lead up to this 'Money Talk.' None of this should come as a surprise. When it's surprising, this is where you're struggle begins. Prepare your manager, as we discussed in the previous post. By making this about them and how you're driving to metrics that matter to them, you're in a better position than most in asking for a raise.

  • Provide examples of what you've done. Detail your successes and communicate the value you bring. Reiterate any additional responsibilties you've taken on that relieved work from your manager.

  • Convey that you're happy in your role and excited about the new things you're doing and even more that you're going to do.

  • Discuss the raise amount. Typically your manager will give you an amount or percentage increase. They'll typically give an explanation. Listen keenly to their reasoning at this point. Determine if this fits within your expected range. Is it on the higher end? Yes? Still negotiate at the highest rate. Let them know you're expectation of xx amount.

  • IF the amount or percentage is higher than you expected, still negotiate at the high end. Reiterate everything you've done. Reiterate the additional responsibilities you've taken on and demonstrate how you've excelled with these new responsibilities. Discuss the market rate for your experience, background, and skills.

  • IF the amount or range is lower than you expected, negotiate to your range. Continue the conversation about this being an investment in your work and the return they will benefit from. Discuss your accomplishments in terms of wins for the business and for your manager. Reiterate the additional responsibilities you've taken on and demonstrate how you've excelled with these new responsibilities. Discuss the market rate for your experience, background, and skills.

Notice what I did there? Regardless of the number, you must negotiate. You may be leaving money on the table. If you say nothing, you will never know what you could have received. The worst that they can say is no. Even if they say no to the dollar amount, there's still room for negotiation. What are some other perks you're interested in? Permanently work remote, additional vacation days, additional training dollars, etc. What are other compensation factors and benefits can you leverage?

Another strategic negotiation tactic is to ask for a modified review schedule. Once you see that your manager isn't budging on the number, ask for a modified review schedule. How? Ask them to come back to the table in 6 months to do another review based on your performance and discuss the expectation of an additional raise (one that gets you closer to where you want to be).

If after, or even during the negotiation, you're feeling stuck or unsatisfied, it's now time to have the conversation with yourself... " Is this really a place I want to stay?" "Am I going to grow in this company and make the money that I want to make?" Leave room for opportunities. Really think about what you want. Is this still a mutually beneficial relationship? This will determine your next move. Stay or go.

Boosting Your Salary:

One of the ways to boost your salary and get a promotion is to move to another organization. I'm not suggesting to company hop. I am suggesting that you move in the direction of satisfaction. Can you grow within the organization you're with? If not, then it's time to make a move. It's time to go.

So you've gotten the interview and you've wowed them. Now, they're ready to begin negotiations of a salary.

  • (Side note: if before or during the interview process, you're asked about your current salary, do not divulge that information. If you do, you're giving away your negotation hand. Whatever you do, do not provide that information. It's private. It's confidential. It's no one's business but yours and your current or previous employer. It has no bearing on your future responsibilities and future role.)

You can always maximize your salary with a new opportunity if you are ready to negotiate for what you want. However, always, be aware during the negotation. You don't want to do more harm than good. Remember to LISTEN. Listen to the person you're negotiating with. Are they willing and participating in the negotiation or shutting down? What's the range that they're coming in? What is a reasonable range for you? You'll still use similar negotiation tactics as getting a raise.

Before you take any action, you must ask yourself if this is a company, manager, or environment, in which you want to work. If yes, then move forward with negotiations. If not, save yourself the struggle and say thank you but no thank you. And continue on with other opportunities.

  • Use your previous experience, successes, and 'badass-ness'. This is why you can't lose. You have positioned yourself as a top performer. You have the experience and skills that are desirable to other employers. You've made yourself marketable!

  • Discuss your previous accomplishments in terms of wins for the business or for your previous manager. Discuss your success with your responsibilities and quantify how you've excelled. Discuss the market rate for your experience, background, and skills.

  • Say thank you. Especially if they're trying to close the gap between where you want to be and where they are offfering.

  • If they're trying the tactic of 'no flexibility', convey that you're excited about the opportunity and excited about what you can do for them. Get them excited about you and bring back to the conversation, the reason they offered you the position in the first place.

  • What are some other perks you're interested in? Permanently work remote, additional vacation days, stock options, additional training dollars, etc. What are other compensation factors and benefits can you leverage? Leverage them.

  • However, remember to listen to the person you're negotiating with. Read them. Are you doing more harm than good? Come to an agreement on a number that you are satisfied with along with a full compensation package that gets you excited.

Negotiations can seem daunting. However, confidence in yourself, knowing your value, being assertive, and being aware of your marketability will help you advocate for yourself.

The thing to remember here is to advocate for yourself. You don't have to settle. You don't have to be unsatisfied. You don't have to stay in any situation that makes you feel less than. You don't have to be frustrated. If your salary is not where you want it to be, you have to speak up for yourself. You'll ultimately command respect and get them excited to work with you. This sets the tone going forward on who you are and your boundaries. This is true for either getting a raise or boosting your salary.

So let's continue the conversation...

See you back here next Sunday when we wrap up with Lesson #3 - Preparing for the Interview (the Right Way).

Want to continue learning how to have this conversation, how to handle pushback?

Schedule your FREE Career Strategy Call HERE

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