How to Negotiate a Pay Raise

Negotiating a pay raise is no easy task and makes most people nervous and uncomfortable.  Even though most people would love to make more money, they rarely get excited about the thought of having to ask for it.  However, the fact is no one is going to voluntarily throw money at you so if you want to increase your salary you are going to have to be prudent.  Just like interviewing, negotiating pay is part of any professional career and practicing will only make you better. The art of salary negotiation is an essential skill that will help you throughout your professional life.  Here are a few negotiation tips that will help you get the pay raise you deserve.

Do Not Appear Threatening

Many people approach salary negotiation with the mentality that it’s “you vs. them.”  While it’s ok to be assertive, you should not come off as threatening or demanding.  Instead of viewing the negotiation as war look at it as a partnership.  Ask for more money based on what you can do for the company rather than what they owe you.  If you threaten to leave over the salary, you are likely to make a bad impression.  Let your employer see that you are valuable but you are also reasonable.

Know Your Worth

So we would all love to bring home a large paycheck but you must be reasonable with your request.  You need to be prepared and have a good idea of what you are worth to your employer before asking for more money.  You can get a good idea of a reasonable salary by researching similar jobs to get a benchmark salary range.  You might even start interviewing for a different job to get a better understanding of similar compensation packages.  If you are offered a different job this could also give you more bargaining power.  You should also consider your replacement cost.  This could help you make the argument that you could deliver immediate results when the company would have to pay quite a bit to train someone new.

Demonstrate Your Value

It’s time to let you employer know just how valuable you are and why you are worthy of a pay raise.  It would be helpful to have materials available where you could show your accomplishments and what you bring to the table in terms of profit and productivity.  Explain what special skills you have that set you apart from others and how much you actually contribute to the company.  Make them feel as if they would really be missing out if they lost you as an employee.

Let Them Throw Out the First Number

One of the most important rules when negotiating is that you never want to be the first to name a number.  Let them make a suggestion and go from there.  If you are unable to deflect from avoiding a number, be prepared to give a narrow range that you would be willing to accept.

Proceed with Silence

Do not feel pressured to commit to an offer too early.  Allow yourself time to think about it and answer with something like “Thank you and I’m going to get back with you on that.”  This will show that you are not desperate and they might even come back with a higher offer.

Asking for a pay raise is rarely easy but it is important to learn to speak up for yourself.  These tips will help you execute a strategy in which you can negotiate a higher salary.  It’s time to build your confidence and go get the pay raise you deserve!