This is the third (and final!) part of a blog series about negotiating a pay rise, written in conjunction with a talk given to the General Assembly by TalentRocket’s founder Chris Platts, entitled “Negotiate Your Way to a Better Salary”. Please enjoy responsibly.
Negotiating a pay rise is like baking a cake (stay with me here), you need all the right ingredients: a killer story, the data to support your argument and empathy towards the company’s position, but like my wife would tell you, throwing all the ingredients into the mixing bowl doesn’t mean you’ll bake a tasty cake. The order and sequence the ingredients are added in is just as important. So are the amounts of each ingredient. You don’t want to bore them to death with stats or overdo the small talk part and leave no time for actual negotiation. Here’s my recipe for a successful salary negotiation, but like most recipes this is just a guide, it’s usually best to riff around it, but any good cook knows that, right?
Step 1 – Small Talk & Connect
Bring your best chat to the table to settle the nerves first.
Step 2 – Tell Your Salary Story
You really are a hero after all. Try and weave this into the conversation casually. If it’s a performance review then you can weave this into your answers, if it’s just a meeting to discuss salary then it’s time to give them the story of you.
Step 3 – Reaffirm Your Commitment To The Company
Only do this is it’s true of course, but it’s important that you reinforce your commitment to company’s success. If it’s not genuine, they’ll smell this as a tactic a mile off. In your case it’s not a tactic, it’s the truth.
Step 4 – State Your Ask
Here’s where you drop the anchor salary request along with the other points of negotiation you’d like to discuss. Justifying with rational data and hard facts of course. You don’t want to come across as greedy, just as someone who wants a fair deal.
Step 5 – Respond With Concessions
It’s unlikely you’re going to get everything you ask for and reciprocity is critical to a successful negotiation. So If you’re hit with a negative response then propose some parts of your ask are you willing to give up on or trade off. Of course, you’ve already planned this in advance, so as long as you’re actually happy to give these ideals up, now’s a good time, but to keep the upper hand do reiterate how difficult that is for you to do so.
Step 6 – Make A Counter-Offer
After you’ve offered some concessions it’s your turn (again) to propose a new deal based on how the conversation has played out. Remember to stay in control of the negotiation, you want to be putting the numbers out there and reinforcing why that’s a fair deal for everyone.
3 Common Objections To Giving You A Pay Rise
To get through a salary negotiation without objections is pretty rare, as mentioned the most effective way to ensure things don’t get too awkward is to ask questions to move past any icky moments. Negotiation depends heavily on listening well so here are 3 common objections and some possible responses. We’d love to help you answer any objections you’ve faced in the past and give you some help so feel free to write in the comments sections at the end of this post.
Objection 1 – No one is getting a raise right now.
Responses – What’s behind that decision? When do you anticipate that will change? I’d like to confirm a timescale for this to be reviewed
Objection 2 – You need to show me you can do the job first.
Responses – What specific goals do I need to achieve for this to be reviewed? What timeline can I expect for getting to my target salary?
Objection 3 – We can’t give you more than an X% raise this year.
Responses – Are there some constraints that I’m not aware of that make my request impossible? Given I’ve taken on extra work would that be applicable in my case? What if I were to secure a promotion would that still be the case?
When it comes to negotiating a pay rise, if you accept the first offer then you signal to your employer that you’re doubtful of your value and potential. A lot of how this is going to go is how you’ve been performing in your current and previous roles. People are more likely to fight for you if they like you both personally and professionally. Anything you do in a negotiation that makes you less likeable reduces the chances that the other side will demonstrate flexibility.
The best advice I can give is to ensure you’re adding so much value that your employer desperately wants to keep you in the company and is desperate to give you that pay rise. Keeping the conversation focused on the value that you have added, are adding and will add in future rather than what you want or expect should keep things productive.
Recent Studies claim to prove that increasing your income above £50,000 a year doesn’t actually make you any happier. But the truth about wealth and happiness is more complicated than this. We all know people who fall way below that marker who are some of the happiest people we know. And we also know people who earn way more than most who are at the same time utterly miserable.
So without going too existential on this, just know that although this will hopefully secure you more money, remember that it’s experiences and not zeros in the bank balance that will make your life more enjoyable.
We hope you enjoyed this trilogy, or at the very least found it informative. Please leave any comments below.