Okay, here’s the deal: you’ve been working your tail off, putting in the extra hours and brainstorming the big ideas, and now you want to see the rewards. Your boss, meanwhile, is looking at budget cuts and all-round belt-tightening, and the message from upstairs is that the new pay rise is getting to keep your job. It’s time to send the negotiators in and get a raise.
By MH Staff - Posted on 15th October 2013
How to secure an increased salary
Negotiation begins way before the opening handshake. “Preparing for a deal is vital to its success,” says Justin Bhoday, who brokers big-money property deals for one of the UK’s biggest real estate agents. “Consider who you’re negotiating with and what their pressure points are and you’re more likely to get the result you want. Your move Before you enter the fray, memorise everything: pay grades, quarterly targets, and your company’s broad goals. Using these will strengthen your case, no matter your boss’s strategy. Also, decide a realistic target and stick to it. “When they hit your high figure, you have to close and not get greedy,” Sullivan says. “The best negotiators always stick to this rule.”
Your opening salvo is vital if you’re going to walk out richer. “The classic opening line from the ‘buyer’ is, ‘Why should I give this business to you?’,” says former British SAS negotiator Dave Thomas. “Answer straight away with confidence, passion, honesty and integrity and you could seal the deal in the first sentence.” Your move Most employers have a standard pay review that ticks off your pros and cons. Sidestep that by raising any negatives from the past year, whether it’s a dip in sales or an argument with a colleague. A University of Illinois study found that this is more effective than papering over weaknesses – so long as your counter arguments replace every negative with a positive.
Tailor your approach to the person across the desk, but never be adversarial. “The goal is a win-win outcome where both sides feel they’ve got a good deal,” says Nick Midworth, commercial director at advertising agency OgilvyAction. “Any resentment from your review will bleed into day-to-day situations at work.” Your move If you’re naturally reserved, don’t face the boss down with chutzpah; he’ll know it’s artificial, Myers says. Likewise, if you’re an aggressive dealer, don’t fake humility. Project calmness at all times, even if you’re under fire. Myers says it makes the other side believe you have hidden options they don’t know about. Which may or may not include snipers down the street.
Walking away with a better contract or a higher salary is partly about knowing exactly when to walk and on what terms. “Closure is a fluid moment,” says Clive Rich, who brokers multi-million-rand deals between international record companies. “If you keep going beyond that point you risk blowing the whole deal.” Your move List the terms that both parties are pleased with, whether it’s more money, flexible working hours, or a new project to shepherd. You can still mention the points you’re less happy with, but, “by focussing on the positives, you show your opponent that actually you’re not very far apart while making headway with the main issues,” says Hawkhead.